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Additional charges filed in connection with Saturday Hagerstown apartment fire

October 10, 2007|By HEATHER KEELS

Additional charges have been filed in connection with the Saturday morning apartment fire police say was set by a 25-year-old Middletown, Md., man.

Jason T. Burkett of 8345 Palmer Road is charged with five counts each of first- and second-degree arson, one count of first-degree malicious burning, two counts of second-degree malicious burning, attempting to burn property, 14 counts of reckless endangerment and resisting arrest.

He was being held at the Washington County Detention Center on $75,000 bond Tuesday, according to a spokesman there.

A witness told police he heard Burkett say "something bad is going to happen" after he got into an argument with a woman who lived in the Washington Garden Apartments, according to charging documents.

The woman, Burkett's ex-girlfriend, said the two had been out at a bar with mutual friends and the group had returned to her apartment for the night when Burkett started yelling at the woman and her friends asked him to leave, according to the documents.

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Another witness said he heard a loud "popping" noise and saw a man, later identified as Burkett, running from the apartment, according to the documents.

The Hagerstown Fire Department said at least 13 people were in the building at the time of the fire, one of whom was injured while evacuating. There was minimal damage, but the building remained evacuated most of the morning, the fire department said.

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