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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—An arson investigation conducted by the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO), the Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD), and Edison Police Department has led to an arrest in connection with the fire at the Allison Road Classroom Building fire on Busch Campus in Piscataway.
The suspect has been identified as Shayam Sridhar, 21, a former Rutgers University student from Edison.
According to MyCentralJersey.com, authorities say Sridhar set fire to a 30-foot section of the hallway and the adjoining classroom on the second floor of the ARC Building at 1:03 p.m. on December 20.
The flash fire set off an alarm, forcing the evacuation of 210 students who were taking a final exam in a first-floor auditorium located beneath the burning hallway.
An overhead sprinkler extinguished the fire, but there was damage to the classroom as well as the hallway where the fire was started. MyCentralJersey.com said the it would cost $250,000 to clean-up and repair.
Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey commended the efforts of the MCPO, Edison Police Department and RUPD for successfully identifying and apprehending the alleged arsonist.
“I commend the efforts of the local law enforcement agencies that coordinated their efforts to apprehend the defendant,” Carey said.
“These dedicated members of law enforcement spent time away from their own families and friends, in order to protect and serve our citizens during the holidays.”
According to the MCPO, Sridhar has been charged with second-degree aggravated arson and is being held at Middlesex County Jail on a $75,000 bail.
Anyone with additional information regarding this incident is asked to contact the RUPD Detective Bureau at 848-932-8025.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article included a photograph of someone with a similar name to the suspect, but does not appear to be connected to the crime.