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NEW JERSEY STATE POLICE
OFFICIAL NEWS RELEASE

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Office of Public Information (609) 882-2000
A/Capt. Frank Davis - ext. 6516
A/Lt. Stephen Jones - ext. 6513
SFC. Julian Castellanos - ext. 6515
Sgt. Brian Polite - ext. 6514

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 27, 2011


Fire Chief, Deputy, Fireman and Township Official Arrested in Arson Invest

Quinton Township, Salem  County, New Jersey – New Jersey State Police Detectives, working with the Salem County Prosecutor’s Office and the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety have arrested four local men in connection with a house that was purposely burned down.  Patrick Foster, 46, David Sites, 32, Brent Sullivan, 29, and Gary Bell, 66, all of Quinton were all charged in connection with a December 21st fire that destroyed an unoccupied home.  The house at 32 Beasley Neck Road is owned by Albert Bell, 93, who is Gary Bell’s father. 

Foster and Sites were the Chief and Deputy Chief of the Quinton Township Fire Department—a volunteer operated company—until their arrest.  Sullivan is a fireman and adjunct instructor at the Salem County Fire Academy.  Detectives from Woodstown State Police Station, charged them on July 21st with Aggravated Arson (2nd degree), Official Misconduct (2nd degree), and Failure to Report a Fire (4th degree).  Evidence showed that Bell and Foster organized the burning of the structure, and Sites and Sullivan started the blaze.  Sullivan received minor burns to his head while at the fire. 

Gary Bell, a Quinton Township housing inspector and roads department employee, was charged on Tuesday, July 26th with Aggravated Arson (2nd degree) and Official Misconduct (2nd degree).  All four men were processed and released pending court.

Six separate search warrants were approved by the Prosecutor’s Office and executed by detectives and investigators.  Evidence that was obtained is still under review.

The fire station was shut down last week as other local departments were contacted to provide coverage.  The company has since reopened with another fire chief in place.

The owner wanted the house demolished, but it is illegal to burn structures, even for training purposes, outside of designated fire training sites.  The prohibition stems from control and safety issues coupled with environmental pollution concerns. 

The case is being prosecuted by the Salem County Prosecutor’s Office.

See attached photos.  Top left is Foster.  Top right is Sullivan.  Lower left is Sites.  Lower right is Bell.

Patrick Foster Brent Sullivan

Patrick Foster

Brent Sullivan

David Sites Gary Bell

David Sites

Gary Bell

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