Zion Road Man Accused of Setting Amwell Fire

Curtis Westover, 69, faces second-degree aggravated arson charge.

A 69-year-old Zion Road resident has been charged with allegedly setting a fire that home last weekend.

Curtis Westover was arrested Saturday at the and charged with second-degree aggravated arson with bail set at $50,000 with no 10 percent option, according to a statement released Monday by the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office.

The fire broke out at the unoccupied historic structure at 697 Amwell Road on Sunday, March 18 at about 7:30 a.m., the prosecutor's office said.

Units 37 and 38 from the Hillsborough Fire Department, Neshanic Station Fire Department Unit 48 and Flagtown Fire Department along with the Hillsborough Rescue Squad all responded to the blaze.

Detectives from the Hillsborough Police Department in conjunction with detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office Major Crimes Squad and the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office Arson Task Force "deemed the fire to be intentionally set," the prosecutor's office said.

As a , Westover was charged with allegedly setting the fire, the prosecutor's office said.

No further details, including a possible motive, were going to be released, Capt Jack Bennett, a spokesman for Prosecutor Geoffrey Soriano, said.

The remains of the structure were demolished last week.

John Lazorchak, who is the chief of the Neshanic Fire Co., owned the home and the adjacent Lazorchak had been trying to demolish the structure and build a 6,700-square-foot office building.

However, the Historic Preservation Commission denied the request, which Lazorchak appealed. Lazorchak's appeal was r.

Lazorchak and his attorney, Michelle Lamar, have not returned messages for comment over the past week.

Anyone with information regarding the fire should contact the Hillsborough Police Department at 908-369-4323 or the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office Major Crimes Squad at 908-231-7100. All calls are confidential.

Curt Carnes March 30, 2012 at 02:29 AM
A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the HPC meeting tonight. Seems all the people who expressed the same sediments as I had about Mr Lazorchak’s rights to his property don’t know where the municipal building is, because outside of myself, none of you showed up. For the record, there were other people in the audience who seemed to strongly believe history has more rights than private property! You know, we get what we deserve. Tonight there was an open, polite, transparent, public meeting where any of you could have come and expressed your concerns and opinions with out fear of reprisal or embarrassment. However, outside of what I had to say, all the board heard from the other citizens was basically, history trumps private property. So really now folks, put on your thinking caps and ask yourselves just how do you want the board to react? Aren’t they doing what the public is telling them? Isn’t that their job? Maybe they need to hear too from others that no, private property trumps history! Our government goes out of it’s way to be open and transparent, and why we as citizen don’t take advantage of that frankly stymies me. There is an other HPC meeting one month from now. It always falls on the last Thursday of the Month. I would like to take this time to express my sincere thanks to all the members of the HPC for treating me with respect, truly listening to what I had to say, and answering my questions in an open, polite, and direct manner.


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