2 children, 2 adults dead in arson fire at US mansion

2018-11-21 12:01
In this image made from a video provided by WABC firefighters battle a fatal fire. (WABC via AP)

In this image made from a video provided by WABC firefighters battle a fatal fire. (WABC via AP)

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Two children and two adults were found dead Tuesday at a burning mansion that was intentionally set ablaze in an upscale community near the New Jersey shore, officials said.

One of the owners of the home is a technology CEO with a relative whose home also caught fire on Tuesday, records show.

Authorities said they were investigating whether the two blazes were connected.

Three severely burned bodies were found inside the mansion in Colts Neck, and a man's body was discovered outside, Monmouth County prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said at a news conference.

Officials have not released any identities, and a medical examiner was still investigating how the four people died, Gramiccioni said.

"It's important to emphasise that we have no reason to believe that anyone in the community is in any danger at this time," he added.

Well-to-do community

Firefighters responded to the fire around 13:30, and it was still burning hours later.

Video showed firefighters battling the blaze as smoke poured from the roof of the two-story home, which is surrounded by fields and includes a large swimming pool.

Helicopter footage showed a sheet in the middle of the yard next to the house, with police tape cordoning off the area.

Colts Neck is a well-to-do community about 80km south of New York City and is home to horse farms.

Typical homes in the town of 10 000 are valued at about $750 000.

Bruce Springsteen owns an estate there, and his son is a former member of the fire department. Former Daily Show host Jon Stewart and his wife operate an animal sanctuary there; Queen Latifah sold her mansion there in 2015.

Public records show the mansion that burned on Tuesday is owned by Keith Caneiro, 50, and Jennifer Caneiro, 45.

The 529m2 home has four bedrooms and five bathrooms, according to Zillow. The owners purchased the property in 1998, and the home was built in 2003, public records show.

Caneiro's LinkedIn profile describes him as the CEO and chief technology officer for a company in the New York City area called Square One.

Facebook 'friends'

His profile says he graduated from Columbia University with a Master of Science degree in 2018 and previously received certifications from Harvard Business School's online platform.

Earlier in the day, officials said there was a fire at a home in Ocean Township about 16km from Colts Neck.

Public records show that the home is owned by Paul and Susan Caneiro, and that the two men shared at least one address in New York several decades ago. They are also "friends" on Facebook, but it is unclear how they are related.

Paul Caneiro is listed as the vice president of Square One.

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