A Manchester Township man is being charged with 25 counts of aggravated arson in connection to six brush fires, including two of them that occurred in Lakewood.
The six fires did not include the fire that shut down the Garden State Parkway for 10 hours last month and also did not include the Lakewood Wildfire that charred 167 acres last March, which investigators said was intentionally set but did not charge anyone yet.
The following statement was released by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office this morning.
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on January 31, 2022, Gregory Fullman, Jr., 32, of Manchester Township, was charged with twenty-five counts of Aggravated Arson in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:17-1a(5), in connection with multiple fires that occurred in the Townships of Little Egg Harbor, Manchester, and Lakewood – between May 2021 and January 2022.
On January 31, 2022, a multi-jurisdictional investigation into numerous forest fires intentionally set in Ocean County culminated with Fullman’s arrest. The investigation revealed that Fullman was responsible for setting fires and destroying or damaging wooded areas in Little Egg Harbor Township on May 16, 2021 and December 8, 2021, Manchester Township on December 1, 2021 and December 16, 2021, and Lakewood Township on December 1, 2021 and January 21, 2022. Fullman was taken into custody on January 31, 2022, and is presently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.
“I extend my sincere appreciation to the many law enforcement agencies that were involved in this very thorough and wide-ranging investigation,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated. “The resolve and determination exhibited by these professionals over the last eight months has resulted in this arrest. I am thankful for their hard work, and grateful that no one was hurt or killed as a result of these fires,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.
Prosecutor Billhimer commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit-Arson Squad, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Economic Crime Unit, Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department, Manchester Township Police Department, Lakewood Township Police Department, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigations Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Field Services Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Administrative Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, Ocean County Fire Marshal’s Office, Ocean County Vehicle Services Department, New Jersey State Forest Fire Service, New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Sciences, New Jersey State Police Regional Operations Intelligence Center, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office, Wall Township Police Department, and City of Bridgeton Fire Department Bureau of Fire Prevention K-9 Unit, for their collective and collaborative efforts relative to this extensive investigation.
DEVELOPING: Ocean County Fire Marshal requested as Lakewood Fire Department battles multiple small brush fires on Airport Road.
— Lakewood News Network (@LakewoodNewsNet) December 2, 2021