Facebook Video Leads to Arrests in N.J. Fire

May 26, 2014
The brothers posted a video of themselves setting a mobile home on fire and were arrested hours later.

May 25--Authorities say two Gloucester County brothers posted a video to Facebook Saturday morning showing them setting fire to an unoccupied mobile home.

Sure enough, a few hours later, after the trailer had been destroyed, the men were arrested -- discovered, prosecutors say, after investigators looked online and found the video.

Anthony F. Pettolina, 22, of Gloucester City, and Gerald J. Pettolina, 30, of Westville, were being held Saturday for charges including arson and criminal mischief.

The brothers are accused of setting fire to a mobile home on Riverview Drive in Westville, a blaze that spread from a bed inside the trailer, according to the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office.

A police officer on patrol discovered the fire at 12:47 a.m. Saturday, the prosecutor's office said, and the Westville and National Park fire departments responded to extinguish it.

The trailer was incinerated, according to the prosecutor's office, but no one was inside and no injuries were reported.

Investigators subsequently discovered a video on Anthony Pettolina's Facebook account which showed the brothers inside the trailer before it burned -- and also showed one of them lighting a fire, the prosecutor's office said.

Both brothers were arrested at a nearby family home around 6:30 a.m. Saturday and were being held on $100,000 bail.

Prosecutors did not provide a copy of the video, and did not say which man allegedly set the fire or what the motive may have been.

The video could not be seen on Anthony Pettolina's Facebook page Saturday. Attempts to reach relatives of the brothers were unsuccessful.

[email protected]



Copyright 2014 - The Philadelphia Inquirer

Voice Your Opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Firehouse, create an account today!