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Hagerstown man charged with arson in apartment fire

October 03, 2008|By HEATHER KEELS

HAGERSTOWN -- A Hagerstown man who resisted rescue attempts during a Wednesday night fire was charged with arson after he told officials he set the fire to "do himself in," court records show.

Roy Allen Sisk II, 35, of 159 S. Potomac St., Apt. 3, was charged with first-degree arson, second-degree malicious burning, reckless endangerment, and two counts each of second-degree assault and obstructing firefighters, according to Washington County District Court records.

Investigators ruled out all accidental causes for the fire, which started at about 7 p.m. in Sisk's second-floor apartment, Hagerstown Fire Marshal Douglas DeHaven wrote in charging documents. The fire started at the foot of a bed, where a cigarette lighter was found in the debris, DeHaven wrote.

When firefighters arrived, they saw smoke on the second floor and a person at the window yelling at them, DeHaven wrote. A firefighter raised a ladder to the window and began to climb it in an attempt to rescue Sisk, but Sisk grabbed the ladder and attempted to push it over with the firefighter still on it, DeHaven wrote.

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Another firefighter forced his way into the locked apartment and attempted to lead Sisk out, but Sisk kicked the firefighter repeatedly, DeHaven wrote. Firefighters eventually removed Sisk from the apartment and Hagerstown Police took him to Washington County Hospital, DeHaven wrote.

A woman who lived with Sisk told investigators he had been drinking and had broken a liquor bottle over his head earlier Wednesday evening, DeHaven wrote. The woman left to go to the store and returned to find firefighters at the apartment.

The fire caused minimal damage, Hagerstown Fire Department officials said in a news release.

The building is owned by Philip S. and Joanne E. Physioc of Hagerstown and consists of a first-floor office and several apartments on the second and third floors, DeHaven wrote. Several of the apartments were occupied and were evacuated during the fire, he wrote.

The owners said they were in the process of evicting Sisk before the fire, DeHaven wrote.

Sisk was being on $200,000 bond Thursday at the Washington County Detention Center, court records show.

A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for 1 p.m. Oct. 29 in Washington County District Court.

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