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Funkstown man faces arson charge

January 13, 2001

Funkstown man faces arson charge



By ANDREW SCHOTZ / Staff Writer


FUNKSTOWN - A 51-year-old man was charged Saturday with intentionally setting a fire at his house last month.

Dennis Eugene Shank Sr., of 109 E. Maple St., Funkstown, was injured during the fire. He wasn't charged until Saturday, when he was released from a treatment center, the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office reported.

After the fire, Shank was admitted to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center because of smoke inhalation and was initially in critical condition.

Charged with first-degree arson and threat to burn, Shank was being held Saturday in the Washington County Detention Center on $200,000 bond.

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Fire officials said the Dec. 15 fire started at 10:40 p.m. on the front porch of his two-story log home. Damage was estimated at $50,000.

Shank was found in a little room off the kitchen in the back of the house and was pulled out by firefighter Kyd Dieterich, said Fire Capt. Kevin Kotanko with the Funkstown Volunteer Fire Co.

Shank threatened to blow up his house on Nov. 27, fire officials said. Court documents state that Shank filled his house with natural gas that day and threatened suicide. Police spent about six hours defusing the situation.

Shank was charged with reckless endangerment in that incident and was released Dec. 3 from the Washington County Detention Center on $10,000 bond, according to court records and the booking department at the detention center.

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