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Man faces arson charge in fire at local apartment complex

October 08, 2007|By HEATHER KEELS

A 25-year-old Middletown, Md., man has been charged with setting a Saturday morning fire that trapped several people on an upper story of the Washington Garden Apartments, Hagerstown Police said.

Jason Todd Burkett, 25, was charged with first- and second-degree arson and resisting arrest, police said.

The Hagerstown Fire Department responded to the fire at about 6:30 a.m. Saturday, police said. Firefighters found a fire in the stairwell of the apartment building and quickly put it out, police said. At least 13 people were in the building at the time, some of whom jumped from a second-floor window, police said. One occupant was injured while evacuating.

The building sustained only minimal damage, but residents remained evacuated for most of the morning, police said.

Long Meadow Fire Co. and Community Rescue Service units also responded, and the Maryland State Fire Marshal K-9 Acceleration Unit assisted in the investigation, police said.

The Fire Marshal's investigation is continuing, police said.

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