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DV Pilot Police & Fire

Authorities: 12-Year-Old Boy Torched South Jersey Grocery Store

Acme grocery store in Ocean City
Acme grocery store in Ocean City Photo Credit: Google Maps

A 12-year-old boy has been arrested for setting fire to the parking garage below an Acme grocery store in South Jersey, authorities said.

The Acme at Eighth Street and West Avenue was reported on fire at 12:53 p.m. Sunday and the grocery store had to be evacuated. 

No one was hurt, but the store remained closed on Tuesday.

Firefighters responded within minutes and by 1:15 p.m. the blaze was extinguished, authorities said. Damage was confined to the parking garage underneath the supermarket.

The Ocean City Police Department, Ocean City Fire Department, State Fire Marshal’s Office, and Cape May County Fire Marshal’s Office concluded the fire was intentionally set and arrested the juvenile on Monday, Ocean City police said.

The boy, whose name was not released due to his age, was charged with aggravated arson, failure to report a fire, risking widespread injury and damage, aggravated assault and criminal mischief, police said.

Detective Sergeant Dan Lancaster and Detective Matthew Crowley arrested the boy in Ocean City. He was released to the custody of his family pending juvenile court.

An Acme spokeswoman said it's unclear when the store would reopen, but customers were encouraged to shop at another Acme store at 34th Street and Simpson Avenue.

Thick, black smoke billowed from the parking garage and seeped into the store, according to media reports.

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