UNION CITY –Union City Police have charged two 13-year-old residents with arson and three other juveniles with criminal trespass in relation to a fire at an abandoned embroidery factory at 2706 Kennedy Blvd. Saturday night, Police Chief Brian Barrett confirmed Tuesday afternoon.
Thanks to the help of residents in the neighborhood who came forward to report children coming out of the back of the factory, detectives were able to locate one of the juveniles, which led to the location and interview of the remaining four.
"Our number one concern was to make sure there were no kids left in the building, and that they were all safe," Barrett said. "We wanted to locate them to make sure they were all safe."
The department received a call around 6 p.m. Saturday evening reporting smoke coming from the factory, and upon the officers' arrival, flames were coming from the back of the building, Barrett said. The fire reached a third alarm before being put out, and the building, which was in poor condition before the fire, will most likely be raized, Barrett added.
The juveniles were located within three hours of the report of the fire in a vacant building on Summit Avenue, Barrett said.
"Wihout the neighborhood's help coming forward and providing information," Barrett said, "it would have been impossible to find them."