NJ man charged for igniting massive Christmas blaze that killed two

A New Jersey man was arrested for intentionally starting a massive blaze on Christmas morning that killed two people in Trenton, law enforcement officials announced on Monday. 

Ronal Ordonez-Lima, 28, of Trenton, is charged with two counts of murder, two counts of felony murder, two counts of attempted murder and several other arson charges for starting a raging fire on the front porch of a home at 3:30 a.m. that quickly spread to five adjacent houses and several nearby vehicles, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office said.

Surveillance footage revealed Ordonez-Lima started the fire on the front porch of 221 Rusling Street in the New Jersey capital, while six residents were inside, four of which escaped, according to prosecutors.

Two adult males, Selvin Lima and Dilman Canpos, were found dead on the second floor of the building by firefighters from the Trenton Fire Department who responded to the scene and extinguished the fire. The descendants’ relationship to Ordonez-Lima was not immediately clear.

Several houses were left severely burned after the Christmas blaze.
The Christmas blaze was set on a New Jersey porch, but quickly spread to five adjacent houses and several nearby vehicles.
Reed Guscoria/Facebook

The New Jersey State Fire Marshal and the New Jersey State Police assisted with the investigation, which led to Ordonez-Lima’s arrest on Monday.

“After reviewing surveillance footage from the area and speaking to witnesses, detectives determined that Ordonez-Lima set fire to the front porch of 221 Rusling Street,” prosecutors said.

The Red Cross and the Trenton Department of Community Affairs responded to assist the victims that were displaced.

Trenton Mayor Reed Guscoria posted photos of the extensive damage on Facebook and offered his condolences to the affected families.

“God bless the families in their time of need. Thanks to Trenton Ladder Companies coming out to scene, EMS, Trenton PD, and County Fire officials,” he wrote.