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Two issued criminal citations after smoldering firework remains found

In conjunction with the Washington County State's Attorney's Office, investigators plan to seek additional charges

July 15, 2013

Two men were issued criminal citations Sunday night alleging they discharged fireworks without a permit, according to the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office.

The fire marshal’s office said in a news release that Donald S. Yescavage, 53, and Jeffrey D. Poindexter, 35, each face a $250 fine with the citations, stemming from two incidents north of Hagerstown.

At about 9 p.m., deputy state fire marshals were dispatched to a home at 13205 Johnnycake Lane, where residents Joel Lum and his wife discovered the smoldering remains of a firework that landed on their rear deck, authorities said.

Yescavage, a neighbor, later admitted to fire marshals and Washington County Sheriff’s Offices deputies that he had been shooting off illegal fireworks, according to a news release.

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The second incident took place at about 11:45 p.m., when an aerial firework broke through a glass window of a home in the 13500 block of Wellspring Road, landing inside the living room, fire marshals said.

Resident Susan L. Rippeon was uninjured and able to escape her home, which began filling with smoke, authorities said. She called 911.

Firefighters found the smoldering remains of a firework and minor damage inside Rippeon’s home, the fire marshal’s office said.

Investigators concluded that Poindexter, who is her neighbor, had discharged various illegal aerial fireworks and did not know where the projectiles landed, the fire marshal’s office said.

In conjunction with the Washington County State’s Attorney’s Office, investigators plan to seek additional charges against Yescavage and Poindexter, including reckless endangerment, according to the release.

The state fire marshal’s office has investigated numerous firework-related fires and injuries in July, including one at an Ollie’s department store in Harford County, Md.

In that case, an aerial pyrotechnic landed on the store’s roof and caused thousands of dollars worth of damage, authorities said.

“While the agency promotes safety, Marylanders need to keep in perspective fireworks are illegal because they are dangerous and are reminded deputy state fire marshals will confiscate, write citations and seek other charges when appropriate,” the fire marshal’s office said in the release.

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