UNION CITY, N.J. — A New Jersey father who admitted tossing lit matches in an apartment that sparked a fire which killed his infant son and damaged dozens of buildings is now headed to prison.
Eddie Gonzalez Sr. received a five-year sentence on Friday. The 27-year-old Union City man had pleaded guilty last November to reckless manslaughter.
Gonzalez and another man were lighting matches and tossing them on a cousin who was sleeping on a couch in Gonzalez’s Union City apartment in March 2017. The cousin would wake and flick the matches away.
Gonzalez’s 1-year-old son, Eddie Gonzalez Jr., died in the fire. His mother and a five-month-old sibling escaped unharmed, while his father suffered burns.
Among the buildings damaged by the blaze was the 119-year-old Saints Joseph and Michael Roman Catholic Church.