Police: Second Suspect Charged In Arson That Injured Four Firefighters

A second suspect has been arrested on the same 15 arson-related charges lodged against an Elkton man on Thursday.

Investigators concluded that Jessica K. Shires, 38, conspired with Dwight Holmes Jr. to intentionally start a dwelling fire within the Lakeside Mobile Home Park in North East in early February this year, officials said Saturday.

Officials said Deputy State Fire Marshals, in conjunction with the Maryland State Police Northern Region Strategic Operations Group, have collaboratively worked for months to bring justice to the injured firefighters who risked their lives believing a person was inside the mobile home.

Shires of North East was arrested by troopers last night without incident. She faces the same charges as Holmes, including Attempted 2nd Degree Murder, Arson 1st and 2nd Degree, and four counts of Assault Second Degree Against First Responders.

Original Report

Deputy Maryland State Fire Marshals have charged a Cecil County man with multiple arson-related charges after determining he was responsible for intentionally setting a North East home on fire which injured four firefighters, officials said Thursday.

Authorities said Dwight Heath Holmes, Jr., 32, of Elkton, was arrested on 15 charges, including Attempted 2nd Degree Murder, Arson 1st and 2nd Degree, and four counts of Assault Second Degree Against First Responders.

On February 10th at 12:42 a.m., North East Fire Company and surrounding fire departments were dispatched to 106 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 County 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 firefighters inside to call a ‘mayday,’ a radio broadcast used as a distress signal in emergencies. 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.

Officials said Deputy State Fire Marshals have worked tirelessly over this period of time to bring closure to the injured firefighters, their extended fire department family and bring the responsible parties to justice.

These kinds of cases are often challenging to solve. I appreciate the tireless work by those who investigated this despicable act,” stated State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci. “The response to this incident has been loud and clear. This kind of work production speaks highly of these investigators and shows their true commitment and compassion to the citizens of Maryland and those who put their lives on the front line every day.”

Holmes is currently being held without bond at Cecil County Detention Center.

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

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