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Bergen volunteer firefighter arrested on arson charges

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Volunteer firefighter Brian “Little Jay” Alvarez of Ramsey was arrested Sunday night and charged with aggravated arson and burglary in connection with a vacant house fire earlier that day in Upper Saddle River. He is now the subject of investigations into several other fires — all of which he called in, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said.

Brian Alvarez

Alvarez, 23, who is single and works for the Haworth DPW, was released today on $75,000 bail, Bergen County Jail records show. He’s due in Upper Saddle River Municipal Court tomorrow.

Firefighters got the Upper Saddle River fire call just before 4:30 a.m., Molinelli said.

Alvarez “claimed he had been driving down East Crescent Avenue and noticed the fire,” the prosecutor said. “Being a member of the Allendale Volunteer Fire Department, he immediately responded to the firehouse after reporting the fire and was among the first on the scene.”

The building at 138 East Crescent Avenue was vacant when the Allendale and Ramsey Fire Departments arrived, followed quickly by a unit from Upper Saddle River, fire officials said.

“A 2nd alarm assignment was dispatched to the scene to assist due to heavy fire conditions showing from the roof of the structure,” they said in a a release about the blaze, which went to three alarms before being extinguished within an hour.

One firefighter received a minor knee injury during suppression efforts. He was treated at the scene.

The fire caused “a significant amount of damage to the single-family residence,” which is owned by the Borough of Upper Saddle River, Molinelli said.

“Area fire departments have used the residence to conduct drills in the past, and it was learned that Alvarez took part in past drills and was aware the house was abandoned,” he said.

Given that the building had no working utilities, Molinelli said, his Arson Squad investigated.

The detectives “determined the fire was intentionally set in multiple areas in the rear of the house, both inside and on the exterior,” the prosecutor said.

Alvarez has called in vehicle and brush fires in several area towns, Molinelli noted, adding that his investigators are now delving deeper into those incidents.

The 6-foot, 330-pound Alvarez, who is a volunteer firefighter in Allendale, Waldwick and Haworth, had been testing for jobs in recent months in Virginia and South Carolina, among other locales, according to his Facebook page.

Alvarez mugshot

On April 25, three days after he turned 23, Alvarez wrote on his Facebook page:

“got to love when things are finally looking up and everything is going great its the small time assholes that f*** everything up for you, I wanna personally thank all the dumb asses in the world that have ever f*** up someone elses way of living… you know the dumb asses that if they weren’t told they had to breath to stay alive they would be dead by now… that’s who I’m talking about.. your mane makes me cringe”

Earlier, on Valentine’s Day, he wrote:

“i wish i was 5 again, no cares, no worries in the world. anything was possible, your imagination had no limits, you believe in fairy tales and happy endings.”

Alvarez described Waldwick in as a “small town in which is divided mainly among white people and spaniards who live in 10 houses in the same general area. A “Little Mexico” can be found next to the train station and “Little Mexico’s” epicenter is marked by the store “El Rodeo.” Mexicans are frequently riding bikes. Every Waldwick High School Student has worked in Stop and Shop, Eckerd, Walgreens, or 7-11 at some point. Most drugs are found on Maple. Fat Pat is teenagers’ worst enemy. Little green men called “Slow Joes” are frequently stolen off lawns.”

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