PERTH AMBOY — A Monmouth County man is accused of setting fire to a building that houses a social club and several apartments, sending five people to the hospital early Monday.

Rey Zarzuela-Severino, 36, of the Ocean Grove section of Neptune township, has been charged with arson, Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone announced.

Zarzuela-Severino broke a window at the Casanova social club on State Street around 3 a.m. and set a fire inside, according to Ciccone.

Five residents of apartments located above the bar were treated for smoke inhalation and released, the Perth Amboy Fire Department confirmed.

The American Red Cross assisted residents with temporary housing and clothing needs.

Ciccone did not disclose a motive for the fire.

Tatiana Rodriguez created a GoFundMe page to help her nephew, his girlfriend and their 11-month-old child, among those who were displaced.

"Everything that was untouched by the fire fit into a couple of trash bags. It’s so shocking to see how quickly one moment can change someone's life," Rodriguez wrote.

Zarzuela-Severino is also charged with second-degree aggravated assault, third-degree criminal mischief, third-degree possession of a destructive device and fourth-degree causing risk of widespread injury or damage.

As of Thursday, he was being held at Middlesex County jail pending a pre-trial detention hearing.

Perth Amboy Fire Department responds to a fire at the Casanova social club
Perth Amboy Fire Department responds to a fire at the Casanova social club (Perth Amboy Fire Department)

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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