Suspect charged for Christmas day fire that killed two in Trenton

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TRENTON, NJ – Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported today that an investigation by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Arson Unit and the Trenton Police Department has led to the arrest of a Trenton man responsible for the Christmas Day fire on Rusling Street that killed two people.

Ronal Ordonez-Lima, 28, is charged with two counts of murder, two counts of felony murder, two counts of attempted murder, one count of aggravated arson and five counts of arson.  He was charged on Monday and transported to the Mercer County Correction Center.  The prosecutor’s office has filed a motion to detain Ordonez-Lima pending trial.

At approximately 3:30 a.m. on December 25, 2021, Trenton Communications received a 911 call for a fire at 221 Rusling Avenue with people trapped inside.  The Trenton Fire Department arrived on the scene and began efforts to extinguish the fire, which spread to five additional houses and multiple vehicles in the immediate vicinity.

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There were six occupants of 221 Rusling Street at the time of the fire, four of whom escaped the residence.  Firefighters located two deceased adults on the second floor.  The victims have been identified as Selvin Lima and Dilman Canpos, both adult males.

After reviewing surveillance footage from the area and speaking to witnesses, detectives determined that Ordonez-Lima set fire to the front porch of 221 Rusling Street.

The New Jersey State Fire Marshal and the New Jersey State Police assisted with the investigation.  The Red Cross and the Trenton Department of Community Affairs responded to assist the victims that were displaced.

Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.