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Man charged with torching trailer

December 23, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

HANCOCK - A Hancock man has been charged with setting fire to his 20-foot travel trailer at the end of a "bad day," a deputy state fire marshal said Wednesday.

Christopher J. McCarty, 59, of the 13800 block of Exline Road, was charged with arson in connection with the early Wednesday fire at his travel trailer, according to a release from the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office.

Fire marshals said investigators believe an ignitable liquid was poured onto the floor of the trailer and lighted just after midnight Wednesday. The blaze caused about $18,000 in damage to the trailer, fire marshals said.

Deputy State Fire Marshal W. Faron Taylor said McCarty was staying in the trailer, which was parked on his Exline Road property.

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Taylor said it appears, at least initially, that the fire was set because he "had a very bad day."

"It's incredibly difficult to believe," Taylor said. "It reinforces what I learned a long time ago - Never be surprised in a fire investigation."

McCarty was found in the parking lot of a McDonald's restaurant on Queen City Boulevard in Cumberland, Md., and was taken into custody at about 1 a.m., Taylor said.

"A net, so to speak, was cast throughout the area," said Taylor, who credited authorities in Washington and Allegany counties with a quick response. "Good police officers doing good work were able to find him quickly."

Taylor said McCarty was released on personal recognizance and was not required to appear before a Washington County District Court commissioner Wednesday.

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