Janitor Blamed for NJ School Fire to Retire

The janitor accused of causing a fire that burned down a central New Jersey school has resigned in order to retire.

The Edison school board on Tuesday accepted Jerome Higgins' resignation.

Board president Veena Iyer tells the Home News Tribune this will hopefully bring closure and allow the district to move on.

Higgins worked for the district for more than 25 years and had been on paid administrative leave since the March fire destroyed James Elementary School.

The custodian is accused of tossing an unfinished cigarette into a trash can in the janitor's office, sparking the blaze that gutted the 50-year-old school.

Higgins was issued a summons accusing him of smoking in a public building, which is a disorderly persons offense.

A court hearing is scheduled for Sept. 5.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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