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Man charged with starting townhouse fire

January 05, 2012

HAGERSTOWN — State fire authorities have charged an 18-year-old man with starting a fire New Year’s Day on Maple Leaf Court in Hagerstown.

Jordan Caleb Timberlake, 18, has been charged with malicious burning, malicious destruction of property and reckless endangerment, the Maryland Office of the State Fire Marshal said in a news release.

He was taken into custody without incident Thursday and is being held on $15,000 bond, fire marshals said.

Timberlake allegedly started the fire when he was playing with a lighter in the Maple Leaf Court townhouse, rented by his grandmother Betty Hartman, fire marhsals said.

Firefighters were able to bring the blaze under control within 25 minutes, containing it to a second-floor bedroom and hallway, the release said.

About 36 firefighters from Halfway, Williamsport, Funkstown and Washington County Special Operations responded to the scene, the release said.

Ethan Graff, 18, a friend of Timberlake, suffered minor burns to his right hand and arm while trying to extinguish the fire, Deputy State Fire Marshall Bruce Bouch said. Hartman escaped the fire unharmed.

The fire caused $55,000 in damages to the structure and $5,000 in damages to the contents, fire officials said previously.

If convicted of the charges against him, Timberlake faces up to 18 years imprisonment and/or $10,500 in fines, according to the release.

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