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Man threatens to explode home

November 28, 2000|By ANDREA ROWLAND

Man threatens to explode home



FUNKSTOWN - A man who threatened to explode his Maple Street home Monday and held police at bay for about six hours ultimately walked out peacefully, according to police.

Police evacuated the neighbors of an armed Funkstown man who threatened to commit suicide by blowing up his natural gas-filled home.

Washington County Sheriff Charles F. Mades estimated that about 40 residents of the 100 block of Maple Street were evacuated shortly after police received the 3 p.m. suicide call.

Mades said a 51-year-old man with a gun barricaded himself into his 106 E. Maple St. home, which was full of an unknown amount of natural gas.

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The man is the sole resident of the house, Mades said.

The Washington County Special Response Team handled the crisis. Police tapped into the man's phone line so Response Team negotiators could try to talk him out of the house, Mades said.

Police restricted access to Maple Street, which was lined with fire trucks, police cruisers, the Washington County Volunteer Fire & Rescue Emergency Rehab Unit and the Hagerstown Police Department's Mobile Command Center.

Workers from Columbia Gas of Maryland were on the scene at about 6 p.m. They had to dig a 5-foot hole at the intersection of Maple and High streets to cut the flow of gas to homes in that area, Mades said.

Nina Rice, who lives at 103 E. Maple St., said she had just finished putting up her Christmas decorations when she and her grandson were evacuated.

She had to leave her house so quickly that she was unable to grab supplies for her evening work shift. Rice said she minded that inconvenience more than the prospect of going home Monday night to a house without gas.

"At least I might have a house to go home to. I was worried about that," Rice said at 7 p.m.

Police later confirmed the man who made the threats was taken into custody. The Herald-Mail does not identify those who attempt suicide unless they are charged with a crime.

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