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Pascack Valley Daily Voice serves Emerson, Hillsdale, Montvale, Park Ridge, River Vale, Washington Township, Westwood & Woodcliff Lake

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DV Pilot police & fire

Man charged with trying to burn down his own house — while inside

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

A troubled man poured gasoline on the first floor and basement of his Ridgewood house, then set fire to it before local police pulled him to safety, said authorities, who charged him today with arson.

Kenneth Novey

Police and firefighters rushed to the burning house around 3:50 Saturday afternoon and found smoke wafting from the windows.

Told someone was still inside, two Ridgewood Police officers “disregarded their own safety,” rushed in and found 49-year-old Kenneth J. Novey, unconscious, in a first-floor bedroom, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said.

The Ridgewood Fire Department quickly contained the fire, while Novey was transported to Valley Hospital with smoke inhalation and minor burns, Molinelli said.

The two Ridgewood officers were treated at Valley Hospital for minor smoke inhalation, he said. Meanwhile, firefighters carted out three large plastic containers of evidence for Molinelli’s arson detectives.

Doctors cleared Novey for release and he was taken to the Bergen County Jail by officers from the county Sheriff’s Department. He is being held on $300,000 bail.

Novey, who spent much of his life in Hillsdale, is charged with aggravated arson, arson and failing to report an emergency.

“The fire destroyed some of the contents of the home and caused minor structural damage,” Molinelli said.

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