BOUND BROOK — Residents displaced by Sunday night's massive fire at two apartment buildings are looking for help to get back on their feet.

The American Red Cross' New Jersey chapter said 24 people were displaced following the blaze at the under-construction five-story Meridia 2 apartment building. The Somerset County Prosecutor's Office said the fire was set by Hector Juan Padilla, 28, of Bound Brook.

Capt. Kevin Rivenbark told New Jersey 101.5 that the residents live in houses and apartments in an area considered to be a "collapse zone" if the building's remains were to come down. The area is between Talmage Avenue and Drake and Church streets.

No buildings damaged by fire have been torn down as they are still considered to be part of an active crime scene.

"Nothing can get torn out until law enforcement is completely done," Rivenbark said.

Among the GoFundMe pages created to help the displaced:

  • Margaret "Peggy" Snedeker: Brittany Gura created a page to assist the 63-year-old Snedeker, who Gura said was a lifelong resident of Central Jersey and works as a groomer at a pet salon. "This unfortunate massive fire has caused her to lose her apartment, and all her possessions, and she is now homeless. She is staying with a friend and searching for a new place to live," Gura wrote.
  • Peña/Deloatch Family: Manny Peña and his family were displaced by the fire and they currently have no home. Manny is also unemployed, according to his sister Sarah D. Peña, who set up the page.
  • Mary Savage: Her daughter created a page to assist Savage find a new place to live as her building is about to be torn down.

The Bound Brook Salvation Army is offering help for those who need a temporary place to live. The nonprofit is offering shelter at 108 Hamilton St. along with the Christian Center at 11 W. 2nd St.

Businesses in the area are open but parking is limited, according to Rivenbark. Parking also is is limited at NJ Transit's Bound Brook Station because the the lot is being used to stage heavy equipment.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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