WESTMINSTER — The fire marshal suspects arson in several small fires that slightlydamaged a jewelry store and manager's office at Winchester Exchange Friday.
The flames were extinguished by the time firefighters arrived just before 11 p.m., Westminster Chief Jay S. Nusbaum said, adding "fire damage was minimal."
A sprinkler system extinguished the fire in the jewelry store, Nusbaum said. A newspaper editor working on the second floor extinguished the fire in the manager's office.
Deputy Fire Marshal Frank M. Rauschenberg, who arrived at 11:30 p.m., said the blaze appeared suspicious.
After the sprinkler system tripped an alarm, Mark B. Fleming, who was working at The Carroll County Sun, saw a heavy-set, 6-foot white male about 20 years old wearing a blue jersey with gold numbers and tan pants running down the second-floor hallway. The man ran through an open door at the end of the hall, he said.
After smelling smoke in the hall, Fleming went downstairs with a fire extinguisherto put out the small fire in the owner's office. Rags, a few paper towels and papers were the only items burned.
Glass panes in the doors of the office and jewelry shop had been broken. Westminster Police found a footprint on the second floor, and some blood was found on the floor outside the jewelry store.
The police and fire marshal are continuing to investigate.
At Unique Jewelry, a display case, workbench and jacket were damaged by small fires, Rauschenberg said.
Mall owners David and Robert Max, who bought the building in May, said the fire damage was minimal. Nothing appeared to be stolen from the office or the shop, David Max said.
Units from Westminster, Pleasant Valley, Reese and Reisterstown, Baltimore County, responded, Nusbaum said.
CRASH CAUSES INJURIES
HAMPSTEAD -- A 22-year-old Susanann Drive woman was listed in critical condition late Friday after head-on car accident early last week.
Denise Michelle Voelker of the2400 block of Susanann Drive was flown to the Maryland Shock Trauma Unit at University Medical Center in Baltimore after the Tuesday morning accident.
Voelker's 1-year-old son, Noah, was taken to Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore after the accident. He was listed in serious but stable condition late Friday.
Police said Voelker was traveling east on Route 482 in her 1981 Buick Skylark west of Syndersburg Road when the accident occurred.
The driver of the second car, Donna Cross Barraco of the 2800 block of Willow View Court, told police she saw the Buick cross the center line, reports said.
Barraco, 47, who was driving a 1988 Chevrolet van, tried to avoid hitting the car but the vehicles collided head-on, police said.
Barraco was listed in good condition at Carroll County General Hospital with a broken leg.
HOME DETENTION PROBED
People convicted of crimes in Carroll soon may be able to serve out their prison sentences in the privacy of their own homes.
In a meeting with local law enforcement and court officials Wednesday, Commissioner President Donald I. Dell and Vice President Elmer Lippy asked the warden of the Carroll County Detention Center and the county budget director to draw up a bidproposal for a home detention program.
The commissioners also asked Warden Jack Hinton to gather information on the programs from surrounding jurisdictions that have home detention.
Most home-detention programs involve electronic monitoring systems that signal a computer when the prisoner leaves his or her designated area.
Prison officials have said the program would be used for prisoners who were notconsidered dangerous, such as those convicted of misdemeanors.
Those officials said they hope home detention could cut down on the overcrowding problems at the county detention center and save the taxpayers money.
HOLIDAY TRAFFIC STATS
WESTMINSTER -- State police made 14 drunken driving arrests during a special law enforcement effort over Labor Day weekend.
Carroll troopers also issued 50 speeding tickets on county roads.
Troopers issued 26 citations for violations of the state seat belt law and six citations for the child safety seat law.
There were no county traffic fatalities over the weekend, but 11 accidents were investigated by police.
The extra highway patrols were part of Operation CARE, a cooperative effort of law enforcement officials on the East Coast. The stepped-up enforcement started at noon Aug. 30 and continued through midnight on Monday.
Here is a compilation of the fire and rescue calls to the Emergency Operations Center:
7:21 a.m., Reese, Gamber, Reisterstown and Glyndon responded to a building fire on Baltimore Boulevard.
6:27 p.m., Pleasant Valley responded to wires on fire on East Deep Run Road.
10:00 p.m., Reese responded to wires on fire on Bethel Road.
10:34 p.m., New Windsor and Westminster responded to afire alarm sounding on New Windsor Road.
5:27 a.m., Taneytown responded to wires down on Taneytown Pike.
8:27 a.m., New Windsor, Winfield, and Union Bridge responded to a house fire on Marston Road.
2:31 p.m., Westminster, Reese, Pleasant Valley and Glyndon responded to an odor of smoke in a building on Monroe Street.
3:32 p.m., Winfield, Sykesville and Gamber responded for a house fire on Viewpoint Court.
11:55 a.m., Westminster and Reese responded to a fire alarm sounding on Old Westminster Pike.
2:47 p.m., Sykesville and Liberty Road of Baltimore County responded for a fire alarm on Liberty Road.
4:38 p.m., Taneytown, Pleasant Valley and Westminster responded to a house fire on Old Taneytown Pike.