RED BANK: MAN ARRESTED AS FIRE BUG

AUTHORITIES_RB2-2014A 70-year-old Red Bank man was arrested for an arson spree in which he started four fires in less than an hour last Friday, police alleged.

Gabriel Ramos, of South Pearl Street, had volunteer firefighters responding to small fires at four addresses in the vicinity of the train station, said police Chief Darren McConnell.

The spree began when Ramos set fire to trash in a dumpster at 176 Monmouth Street at about 4:30 p.m., according to police.

Fifteen minutes later, he started another fire, at 48 West Street. Sixteen minutes after that, he was at 80 Oakland Street, starting yet another fire.

Ramos is alleged to have ended the spree by starting a fire nine minutes later at 5:10 p.m., at 35 Oakland Street.

The fires, one of which “singed a house,” according to McConnell were set to trash and a discarded sofa. No injuries were reported.

McConnell said police “have a history with [Ramos], but nothing like this.” Alcohol may have been a factor, he said.

After an investigation by Sergeant Juan Sardo, Ramos was arrested Monday and admitted on videotape to setting the fires, according to reports filed. He was charged with two counts of arson, one count of attempted arson and one count of criminal mischief.

Municipal court Judge William Himelman ordered Ramos held on $107,500 bail with no option to pay just 10 percent. Ramos remained in the Monmouth County lockup early Tuesday evening, McConnell said.

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