A Hudson County Superior Court grand jury has indicted two Union City men, including the father of an infant killed in a four-alarm fire in March, for purposely starting the blaze.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Eddie Gonzalez Sr., 27, and Edwin Diaz, 21, both of Union City, were charged with recklessly causing the death of Eddie Gonzalez Jr. while causing a fire at 1404 Summit Ave. in Union City on March 4, authorities said.
The grand jury indictment charged each of them with manslaughter, causing widespread injury or damage and creating a risk of widespread injury or damage, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez said in a statement.
On May 31, a warrant was issued for the arrest of Gonzalez Sr. and Diaz. On June 1, they surrendered themselves to Hudson County Sheriff’s Officers at the Hudson County Administration Building in Jersey City.
Gonzalez Sr. and Diaz are currently being held at the Hudson County Correctional Facility, pending a detention hearing.
They are scheduled to be arraigned on the Indictment in Hudson County Superior Court on June 12.
On Saturday, March 4, at approximately 1 a.m., the Union City Police Department received a 911 call reporting a fire on Summit Avenue in Union City, authorities said.
Police Officers responding to the fire found that it had fully engulfed the building and that all occupants of 1404 Summit Ave. were accounted for, except one-year-old Eddie Gonzalez Jr., officials said.
Eddie Gonzalez Jr. lived at 1404 Summit Ave. with his parents, Eddie Gonzalez Sr. and Aaliyah Mercado, as well as a five-month-old sibling. Gonzalez Sr. was injured in the fire. while Mercado and the five-month-old sibling escaped the fire unharmed.
The investigation into the origin and cause of the Union City fire that resulted in the death of Eddie Gonzalez Jr. revealed that the origin of the fire was the rear room in Apt. 2L, 1404 Summit Avenue and “the cause of the fire was incendiary,” authorities said.
The investigation was conducted jointly by the Union City Police Department, the Office of the Hudson County Prosecutor, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the NJ State Fire Marshal.