Two Bergen County men were charged with criminal mischief for allegedly setting a tiki hut on fire at Jenkinson's North Pavilion, at 22 Boardwalk near Broadway, early Sunday morning, police said.
Andrew Lupino, 19, and Steven Hammett, 19, both of Oakland, were each charged with criminal mischief in the third degree at about noon Sunday by Officer Kyle Grace, said Detective Clint Daniel.
Daniel said the men may have used lighters to start the fire which was reported to police at 4:41 a.m.
The blaze was contained to the tiki hut and did not spread to the main restaurant building about five feet away, said Point Pleasant Beach Fire Chief Mark Drew.
Daniel said there was probably about $10,000 to $20,000 worth of damage to the hut that is on the back porch at Jenkinson's North Pavilion.
The tiki hut was destroyed in the blaze that was battled by about 20 firefighters, said Drew.
Lupino was lodged in Ocean County jail on $50,000, no 10 percent option, and Hammett was released on a summons, as ordered by Superior Court Judge Ronald Hoffman, sitting in Toms River.
Daniel said he did not know why the judge ordered bail for one suspect and a release for the other.
Ocean Fire Company #1 and Point Pleasant Beach Fire Company #2, led by Fire Captain John Pasola, the incident commander at the scene, were dispatched by the Point Pleasant Beach Police Department.
All equipment was cleared from the scene at about 6:25 a.m., authorities said.
The Ocean County Fire Marshal, the county Prosecutor's office and county Sheriff's Department assisted the Point Pleasant Beach police department in the investigation, said Daniel, adding that business owners were notified.
Daniel said a third suspect, who had been staying overnight at a summer house with the other two suspects, was also charged with criminal mischief, but not in connection with the fire.
Joseph C. Werba, 19, of Oakland, was charged and released on a summons in connection with a variety of criminal mischief complaints reported by property owners. Werba was charged by Grace for allegedly kicking over and breaking flower pots and other minor incidents, Daniel said.