Barnegat forest fire
A March 2010 forest fire in Barnegat Township burned over 500 acres, forcing some residents to evacuate. Surf City fire Chief Brian Stasik photo

 

TOMS RIVER, N.J. - A volunteer firefighter in southern New Jersey has pleaded guilty to aggravated arson.

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Ryan Dellane admitted intentionally setting nine blazes in Ocean and Burlington counties between March and August of last year, including one that consumed 540 acres in Barnegat.

The forest fire forced the evacuation of about 75 people and two firefighters were injured.

The Asbury Park Press reports prosecutors will seek a 20-year sentence when the 19-year-old former member of the Stafford Volunteer Fire Company is sentenced on June 2.

 

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