FORT LEE — A borough resident has been arrested and charged in connection with a Jan. 25 fire inside his apartment that put the rest of the building's occupants at risk.

According to a police complaint, 60-year-old Jay Freedman lit "a large quantity of candles," using torch devices, on a plastic tote that contained multiple flammable items. The items ignited, prompting a smoke/fire alarm activation inside the residential high-rise apartment building on 15th Street, police said.

Moments after arriving on the scene, first responders suppressed the fire located in Freedman's apartment. An investigation involving the arson squad of the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office ensued.

Freedman was arrested on Jan. 26 and charged with fourth-degree causing or risking widespread injury or damage. He was released pending his first court appearance, which is scheduled for Feb. 11.

Contact reporter Dino Flammia at

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