Child Porn Discovered at House Fire: Cops

A fire brought rescue crews and police to a New Jersey home, but what they found while looking for hot spots was the real surprise.

Firefighters battling an Ocean County, N.J. home blaze found something hidden within the home’s walls that put the homeowner in deep trouble with the law, according to New Jersey State Police.

Firefighters arrived Tuesday to the blaze on the 500 block of Dock Road in West Creek, Eagleswood Township to find heavy smoke and flames coming from the roof, authorities said.

As firefighters from at least five municipalities battled the blaze they worked to make sure there were no hot spots so they began to pull back the Sheetrock ceilings, according to state police.

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As they pulled back the Sheetrock, a single magazine from the 1970s featuring photos of pre-pubescent girls fell down from the bathroom ceiling, cops said.

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The homeowner, Gamal El-Zoghby, 75, was arrested and hit with child endangerment charges, according to police.

El-Zoghby, who is an architecture professor at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y. and designed the home, was processed and released, authorities said.

"They were just images in one or two, couple of magazines," El-Zoghby told NBC York. "Not that I am on the Internet. I am ignorant of Internet."

The architect was in his New York home at the time of the blaze. He denied the child porn allegation when NBC New York caught up with him Thursday:

The professor told NBC New York in an exclusive interview that he "never touched anybody" younger than 19 and insisted the images were not kids.

"They were not children. They were young girls," he said.

There were also more than 100 legal adult magazines from the 70s also found, authorities said.

El-Zoghby says that Pratt suspended him Thursday.

Police don't believe El-Zoghby ever made or distributed child porn.

The architect says he regrets the entire incident.

"This is just exaggerated," El-Zoghby said. "I’m sorry that this happened."

The cause of the blaze remained under investigation.


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