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Arson Suspected in Pole Barn Blaze; Firefighter Injured

Gregory W. Woodman, of Clementon, is being held on suspicion of setting a barn fire overnight.

A Clementon man is in police custody today on suspicion of setting a pole barn fire overnight that sent one firefighter to the hospital.

Gregory W. Woodman, 26, of Higgins Avenue in Clementon, is being held on a variety of charges stemming from the 3 a.m. fire.

The blaze broke out around 3 a.m. July 7 on the 1500 block of Chews Landing Road. As emergency crews fought a fully involved pole barn fire—and moved livestock to new quarters to protect them from the smoke and flames—police learned of a suspicious person seen just before the fire from a nearby resident.

Officers patrolled the nearby area until they found Woodman, who police said exactly fit the description provided. Woodman struggled with officers, according to reports, until he was secured in handcuffs.

Meanwhile, multiple crews battled the pole barn fire. The fire destroyed the barn, tractors and hay bales, police reported. Chews Landing Fire Department firefighter Albert Sexton suffered smoke inhalation and was taken to the hospital. He was still hospitalized as of Saturday afternoon but is expected to be released, said.

Responding units included the, and fire departments; Camden County Fire Police; and Kennedy EMS. The blaze was reported under control before 4 a.m.

Gloucester Township Police, the Chews Landing Fire Marshal's Office and the Camden County Prosecutor's Office Arson Investigation Unit are investigating the suspected arson.

Woodman was charged with two counts of second-degree aggravated arson, one third-degree count of aggravated assault (for the injured firefighter) and one count of resisting arrest. He is being held on $75,000 full cash bail.

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