Should a NJ State Fire Inspector be Publicly Suggesting Jewish Lakewood Residents Are Accused of Arson? [UPDATED: Statements from ADL, Ocean County Chief Fire Marshal]

A man claiming to be a State of New Jersey Fire Inspector is coming under fire from members of the Jewish community today after he apparently publicly suggested Jews are accused of arson.

In a post about the fire at DB Electronics, an Instagram user commented with a lightning symbol, a symbol commonly used when trying to discreetly suggest the fire was purposely set.

That’s when Tony Massaro (@tonym219) chimed in, and commented “You mean (Israeli Flag) lightning? with multiple laughing emojis following it – suggesting the fire was purposely set by Jews.

This comes as State Fire Bureau is on scene of that specific fire in Lakewood, assisting with the investigation.

According to his LinkedIn bio, Massaro is a State of New Jersey Fire Inspector since 2013. He claims he is currently employed with the State.

According to other documents (see item number 4 in document below), he was also appointed in 2019 to a planning and research committee for the division of fire safety.

Should a man in a position to inspect fires be trusted when he clearly has it out for Jewish residents?

UPDATE: The ADL released the following statement in post on X this afternoon:

We are appalled by comments made by an individual claiming to be a @NJFireSafety inspector insinuating that the fire that destroyed a Lakewood business was intentionally caused by “Jewish lightning”. NJ residents deserve better.

UPDATE: Ocean County’s Chief Fire Marshal, Dan Mulligan, also expressed his disappointment:

“As the Chief Fire Marshal in the Ocean County Fire Marshal’s office, I am insulted by the remarks and the insinuations made by the ex fire inspector earlier today,” Mulligan stated. “My office conducts hundreds of investigations every year. We treat every investigation the same no matter the municipality. We are also proud members of the Ocean County task force and have earned the respect of the fellow firefighters and fire investigators in Ocean County. People that do not have direct knowledge of our operation should remain silent.”

UPDATE: Despite Massaro’s bio shows he’s still employed, the NJ DCA stated he’s no longer employed, having retired in 2021.

The DCA released the following statement to TLS:

”We read earlier today your story titled “Should a NJ State Fire Inspector Be Publicly Suggesting Jewish Lakewood Residents Are Accused of Arson.” Please be advised that the commentor referenced in the story is no longer employed by DCA’s Division of Fire Safety as of September 2021 when he retired.“

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    • The first commenter who posted only the lightning bolt may not have been anti semetic. But when this guy added the israeli flag, he’s clearly insinuating that this may be a “jewish” issue.

  1. I never said anything but to be honest the thought, “Why does there seem to be an awful lot of fires in our community?” did cross my mind.

  2. It is antisemitic. There is a derogatory term called “Jewish lightning” referring to dishonest business owners who attempt to burn down their businesses and collect the insurance money. So when he did the flag and the lightning, he knew exactly what he was saying.

    • And by us is considered one of the biggest old jokes that people make. (Think of: “And the 3rd storeowner says “How do you make a tornado?” – it’s an old dumb joke)

      I said this the last time that someone brought up a snarky post that some official made on an obscure Twitter account. These people have private lives and they write them things the same way people would find dumb or racist things if they checked anyone’s texts. That’s what people do when they’re not in an official capacity, they slip and say things that they would never say in an official polite setting.

  3. i think each fire should be investigated as an individual on its own.
    and no, fire inspectors shouldn’t blame anything on anyone till the investigation is completed.

  4. not necessarily anti Semitic, but he’s definitely a dumb idiot that posts stupid comments knowing that he’s gonna have to answer to. so he’s definitely not qualified to be a fire Marshall if he’s such a Dumbbell, 👺

  5. Definitely anti semitic. There isn’t a higher percentage of arson amongst the Jewish community compared to other faiths or denominations. Furthermore not all the fires in the area were even on properties owned by members of the Jewish faith. So he’s painted all residents of the area with a broad brush…Ocean county…we are all Jews and we’re all arsonists and fraudsters.
    Despicable….unprofessional and disgusting. He has no way of upholding his ability to be an impartial investigator.

  6. Of course it’s anti-Semitic. He didn’t insinuate that the particular store purposely started the fire, he insinuated that Jewish People as a community purposely start fires.

  7. Maybe out of hate he is lighting fires around Lakewood to make Jews look like “arsonists”
    Sounds like the perfect plot.

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