Bridgeton police say a fire at the Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office main building seems to be arson. The blaze was in an office in a converted porch on the south side of the building.

Dale Gerhard

Authorities said they continue to investigate an alleged arson that destroyed part of a Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office building in Bridgeton last month.

The fire destroyed an office on the south side of the Fayette Street building during the early morning hours of Jan. 29.

Authorities said at the time that they were also investigating whether the fire was linked to the allegedly purposeful torching of the law offices of Helmer, Conley and Kasselman on West Landis Avenue in Vineland.

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Solving arson cases is "troubling," said Bernie Weisenfeld, a spokesman for the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office, which took over the investigation at the request of the state Attorney General's Office.

"Unless you find the suspect amidst the flames, getting a suspect is a whole other story," Weisenfeld said.

He also said that the images of two men caught on surveillance cameras at the Vineland law office were not that helpful. The images were "small and not easy to pick out identifying details," he said.

The 1:30 a.m. fire at the Prosecutor's Office building not only destroyed the office, but also caused smoke and some water damage to other parts of the structure, authorities said. Authorities said they believed the office was the point of origin for the fire, but would not comment on what evidence prompted fire and police investigators to label the incident as arson.

The Fayette Street building remains closed. Staff, including Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae, who normally work in that building continue to be lodged in one of the four buildings around Bridgeton that house employees with the Prosecutor's Office.

Cumberland County is in the process of converting the old Vine Street School in Bridgeton into a facility that will house most of the Prosecutor's Office's staff. That project was to be completed by 2008 under the terms of a Superior Court lawsuit settlement agreement reached between the county and then-Cumberland County Prosecutor Ronald Casella.

The Cumberland County Board of Chosen Freeholders is scheduled to vote today to formally end its contract with the Middlesex County firm hired in 2012 to complete the renovations to the building.

County officials said Tekton Development missed the Sept. 18 renovation completion deadline. The deadline was extended until last Friday, but Tekton also failed to meet that timetable, they said.

Tekton officials dispute the allegations and blame the delays on project changes caused by the county.

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