Arson charges were brought against a 20-year-old Highland Park man in connection with the July 26, 2016 fire at the three floor residential rooming house at 45 South Adelaide Avenue, according to Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Chief Stephen J. Rizco of the Highland Park Police Department. Michael Henderson, who rented a room in the house, was charged on July 28, 2016 with a second-degree count of aggravated arson. Bail was set at $250,000.
Detective Sean McGraw of the Highland Park Police Department and Detective Nicholas Chiorello of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office conducted the investigation. The Middlesex County Fire Marshal’s Office and the Canine Unit of the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety assisted in the investigation.
The investigation is active and is continuing. Anyone with information , please call Detective McGraw of the Highland Park Police Department at (732) 572-3800, or Detective Chiorello of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-3848.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charge against Henderson is merely an accusation and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Friends and associates of victims of the 45 S. Adelaide house fire have set up a gofundme site to help the residents of the house who became victims, when they lost everything in the multi-alarm fire midday on Tuesday, July 26, 2016. https://www.gofundme.com/2gjvbph4
As of Thursday evening, nearly $3,500 had been raised; $10,000 is the goal.
According to the gofundme site, all three victims were Highland Park residents – one currently works at a Raritan Avenue business and another worked at a downtown HP business until very recently.
Highland Park Police Captain Scott Golden reported that the police rescued two residents who jumped from the second story of the multi-family home. The two residents, plus a third resident, plus a police officer were taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick for treatment of non life-threatening injuries. The residents and the police officer were released from the hospital within 24 hours.
According to the gofundme site, “our neighbors have lost everything they own and now they need our help! Highland Parkers are always so generous to those in need, and so many people have asked how they can help….We decided to set up a fundraising page so the victims of the fire can buy new clothes, pay for hotel rooms, buy food, etc…..Monetary donations are the most valuable. If you want to donate cash, you can donate via this site. If you want to bring gift cards (Amex/Visa gift cards, as well as gift cards to local restaurants and local stores), you can drop them off at the following “donation stations”: Linx8 Computers, Pino’s, or Over the Moon Toys.”