- Associated Press - Thursday, April 17, 2014

EDISON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - Workers are set to begin tearing down a school in central New Jersey that was destroyed by fire.

Demolition of the James Monroe Elementary School in Edison is scheduled to start Friday.

Police have accused a custodian of tossing an unfinished cigarette into a trash can in the janitor’s office, sparking the blaze that gutted the 50-year-old school in March.

Jerome Higgins was issued a summons accusing him of smoking in a public building, which is a disorderly persons offense.

School Superintendent Richard O’Malley says the school’s 500 students will continue to use classrooms at nearby Middlesex County College until the end of the school year.

Officials have requested proposals for building a replacement school building.

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