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Tuckerton Lunch Truck Explosion

OCPO Detective John Doran reports that on Saturday (10/29) at 4:41am, Tuckerton Police and Fire Departments were dispatched to the intersection of Railroad Avenue and North Green Street in Tuckerton for an explosion. Upon their arrival emergency personnel observed smoke coming from the remains of what appeared to have been a trailer. Deputy Fire Marshal Robert Cook of the Ocean County Fire Marshal’s Office was notified and requested the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Arson Unit and Ocean County Sheriff’s Department Crime Scene Investigations Unit to respond.

Upon Det. Doran’s arrival, he gathered background information in regards to the explosion from Dep. Fire Marshall Cook who stated that the trailer, Fuggettouit Lunch Wagon, served as a hot dog stand. He stated further that the explosion was heard several blocks away. DFM Cook and Det. Doran spoke to the property owner, Joseph DePalo, who stated that he has owned the trailer for approximately 6 years and hasn’t had any issues with it. DePaolo stated that he rents the trailer and business out to Robert Felicino. DePalo stated that he just received next year’s rent a week ago and has no issues with the tenant. DePalo stated he doesn’t have any insurance on the property or trailer.

DFM Cook and Doran spoke with the tenant, Robert Felicino, who confirmed that he started to rent the trailer last year and doesn’t have any problems with it. Felicino stated he was inspected by the Health Department this past week. Felicino upon questioning stated that he leaves the propane tanks on and doesn’t turn them off at night.

A scene examination was conducted by the partnering investigators and found the area of origin was located within the oven, along the north wall of the trailer. The cause of the explosion was determined to be accidental by free flowing propane communicating from the propane tank and they could not eliminate an electrical spark from an appliance as the cause of ignition.