Police: West Windsor teen set fire to home while parents were asleep

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A West Windsor Township teen is facing attempted murder charges after a fire broke out inside his family?s house. (WPVI)

A West Windsor Township teen is facing attempted murder charges after a fire broke out inside his family's house.

Police say a 16-year-old boy allegedly set a fire around 1:00 a.m. Wednesday while his parents were asleep inside their Emil Street home.

Detectives say the blaze was intentionally started in a second story bedroom using an accelerant.

"There was we believe to be gasoline spread on the carpets on the hallway into a guest bedroom and on the staircase leading up to the second story," West Windsor Police Detective William Jones said.

The parents were awakened by smoke detectors and escaped unharmed. But the juvenile, a junior at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School, was unaccounted for at the house. He was found sometime later roaming the lobby inside police headquarters.

"The juvenile walked into police headquarters and was discovered by our dispatcher wandering around the hallways between here and the court," Jones said.

The juvenile was taken into protective custody and is facing two counts of attempted murder, two counts of aggravated arson and other charges.

"The broadcasting of the accelerant throughout the residence itself, obviously it wasn't just a spill. So we have to look into the whole motive behind that," West Windsor Police Lt. Matthew Kemp said.

"There's nothing clearly defined from speaking to the family at this point, but there's obviously some underlying issues that are going to need to be dealt with," Jones said.

The family declined to comment. Damage to the home is estimated at $100,000 and on Thursday, cleanup and restoration crews were on the scene removing carpets.

"This is a disturbing case and our primary concern is with the future of that family and the juvenile in question," Kemp said.

The teenager had a detention hearing Thursday afternoon in juvenile court. A judge remanded him to the juvenile detention center in Middlesex County. The judge also ordered a psycho-social evaluation

Related Topics:
n.j. newsarsonattempted murderteenagerWest Windsor Township
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