Firefighters carry a stretcher to the scene of a fatal fire at 15 Willow Brook Rd. Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018, in Colts Neck,N.J.

AP Photo/Noah K. Murray

Brother jailed over blaze possibly linked to mansion deaths

November 21, 2018 - 9:08 am
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UPDATED: 11:17 a.m.

Colts Neck, N.J. (AP) — The investigation into a fire and the deaths of four people found at a New Jersey mansion took a turn Wednesday when authorities arrested the owner's brother on an arson charge stemming from a blaze in his own nearby home.

Paul Caneiro was charged with aggravated arson Wednesday. The fire at his Ocean Township home, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) away from the mansion, was the same day as the one in Colts Neck. Authorities had speculated that the two fires could be related but haven't charged anyone in connection with the mansion fire.

Paul Caneiro is charged with aggravated arson.
Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office

Colts Neck is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of New York City, and the upscale enclave is home to a number of celebrities, including Bruce Springsteen. Former "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart and his wife operate an animal sanctuary there; Queen Latifah sold her mansion there in 2015.

Property records indicate the Colts Neck home was owned by Keith Caneiro. He and Paul Caneiro are listed as executives at a technology firm, Square One.

It wasn't immediately known if Paul Caneiro had retained an attorney. The Monmouth County prosecutor's office was scheduled to hold a news conference later Wednesday.

RELATED: 2 children, 2 adults dead in arson fire at New Jersey mansion

Three severely burned bodies were found inside the mansion, and a man's body was discovered outside, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said Tuesday.

A medical examiner was investigating how the four people died, Gramiccioni said.

Firefighters responded to the fire around 1:30 p.m., 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.