Blaze ruled arson

April 11, 2001

Blaze ruled arson


A blaze that gutted one Hagerstown apartment building and damaged another Saturday was deliberately set, a fire marshal said Wednesday.

The fire was set at around noon Saturday in a vacant apartment at 105-107 S. Potomac St., said John Hersh, Hagerstown Fire Department assistant fire marshal.

The fire originated at 105-107 S. Potomac St. and quickly spread to 109 S. Potomac Street, which adjoins 107 S. Potomac St.

The second and third floors of the 105-107 S. Potomac St. building were destroyed and the third floor of the building at 109 S. Potomac St. was damaged, firefighters said.


About 75 firefighters battled the blaze for more than three hours.

The buildings housed at least six apartments and two businesses

Hagerstown Building Inspector Mike Heyser condemned 105-107 S. Potomac St. following the fire.

"That means no one can go in it without permission," said Heyser.

He said the building owner has about 10 days to let the city know whether the building will be repaired or torn down.

The building is structurally sound, said Heyser. If it were not, the city would move quickly to have it demolished, he said.

Hersh said the fire was the fifth arson in a residential building this year.

Arson is a felony and a conviction on the charge is punishable by 30 years in prison per occupied building, he said.

The Arson Control Association of Maryland is offering a reward to anyone with information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of those responsible.

The amount of the reward would be based on the information supplied.

Anyone with information may contact Hersh at 301-790-2476.

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