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Mahwah-Ramsey Daily Voice serves Mahwah & Ramsey

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Mahwah Homeowner, 71, Charged With Setting Foreclosure Fire

Everett Nathaniel Johnson Photo Credit: COURTESY: Bergen County Prosecutor
At the scene. Photo Credit: Jerry DeMarco
Flames blew through the rear of the home.
Flames blew through the rear of the home. Video Credit: Daily Voice Bergen County

MAHWAH, N.J. -- A 71-year-old Mahwah man was charged with torching his foreclosed house.

Everett Nathaniel Johnson was being held in the Bergen County Jail Friday, charged with aggravated arson with the knowledge of "danger of death or bodily injury" in Thursday night's Marion Drive fire, records show.

Mahwah police officers dispatched to the house on a welfare check saw Johnson near the garage holding a can of gasoline, Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo said.

"Multiple points of fire" also were found in the 5:30 p.m. blaze, responders told Daily Voice.

The largest flames were in the garage and rear of the 2,820-square-foot single-family home just northwest of Route 202 near Oakland (click on video above).

Records show the house was in foreclosure, as Daily Voice reported Thursday night.

"The suspect put the lives of the firefighters in town at extra risk by using an accelerent," one responder said. "I hope the prosecutor shows no mercy."

NORCON was activated, and assistance came from Oakland, Ramsey, Wyckoff, Ringwood, Upper Saddle River and Franklin Lakes, with Hillburn and Suffern providing mutual aid for the township.

All units were back in quarters in roughly 2½ hours, the department said.

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