Fire Marshal: Fire That Injured Four Cecil County Firefighters Ruled Arson, “Hopes Of Trapping Person”

After a lengthy on-scene investigation, Deputy State Fire Marshals have concluded arson was the cause of a vacant dwelling fire that injured four firefighters early Wednesday morning, according to Office of the State Fire Marshal investigators.

Officials said on February 10th at 12:42 a.m., North East Fire Company and surrounding fire departments were dispatched to the 100 block of Superior Court in the Lakeside Mobile Home Park for a reported dwelling fire.

Cecil County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Maryland State Police Troopers arrived minutes before the fire department and observed the single-wide mobile home ablaze. A Cecil Couty Sheriff’s Office deputy attempted to enter the home, believing a person was possibly inside. Firefighters arrived and were successful in entering the home. Approximately two minutes later, conditions within the home rapidly deteriorated, prompting one North East and three Charlestown Fire Company firefighters inside to call a ‘mayday,’ a radio broadcast used as a distress signal in emergency situations. Fellow firefighters and police officers assisted the firefighter’s exit through a front window of the home. Three firefighters were transported to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, two of which were flown by Maryland State Police Aviation Command, while the fourth was transported to Union Hospital.

A team of Deputy State Fire Marshals and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives worked throughout the day. It was determined a suspect(s) poured an ignitable liquid on the front porch and around the home’s exterior, according to officials. Investigators believe they did this in hopes of trapping the person inside, added the officials.

“This careless and senseless act placed these four brave firefighters in a perilous situation. This crime could have tragically cut these lives short. Whoever is responsible acted with malice and by all accounts did this thinking a person was inside the house, only to injure our first responders. Our investigators will work tirelessly to bring those responsible to justice,” stated State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal asks anyone with information to contact the Northeast Regional Arson Tipline at 410-386-3050.