Firefighter charged with arson Car, house were set ablaze

November 13, 1996|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

A Montgomery County firefighter was arrested yesterday and charged with arson and malicious burning in what police described as a drunken crime spree in Mount Airy, where he also serves as a volunteer.

Troy D. Murdock, 23, is being held at the Carroll County Detention Center on $50,000 bail. A bail review hearing is scheduled for today.

Murdock has been a professional firefighter in Montgomery County for about two years, Lt. John Gilbert, the fire department's internal affairs officer, said yesterday.

"Murdock is on administrative leave pending an investigation," said Gilbert. He referred further questions to state police investigators.

Tfc. William Corun of the Westminster barracks said a man who appeared to be intoxicated was found about 7 a.m. yesterday wandering near Runkles and Boteler roads in Mount Airy after residents reported a man going door to door and trying to break into houses and cars.

Police said they arrested the man without difficulty less than half a mile from a car fire that was reported at 5: 04 a.m. in the 6600 block of Jacks Court in Mount Airy and a house fire reported around the corner in the 3900 block of Leishear Road at 5: 45 a.m.

In charging documents, state fire marshals reported that when a trooper confronted the man, he said, "You probably want to talk to me about an arson."

Fire marshals said the car, a 1988 Chrysler LeBaron belonging to Evelyn Orr of Reisterstown, was set afire. Damage was estimated at $3,000.

Carroll Robinson, a resident of Jacks Court, said the woman's car was parked outside his home because Orr and Robinson's wife, who are sisters, were out of town.

Fire marshals estimated damage to the Leishear Drive house at $500. They said small fires set in the mud room and the basement of the 2 1/2 -story rented house were put out by the tenant.

Police said they are investigating two incidents in Eldersburg and Mount Airy that appear to be related.

Police responding after a burglar alarm went off at Salerno's Pizza & Sub Shop in Eldersburg about 3 a.m. yesterday found the front door and a window of the shop open. A cigarette machine inside had been overturned. Owners were called to the scene and said a bottle of vodka was missing.

Soon afterward, police received a call inquiring about Murdock's condition. Information provided by the caller led them to begin looking for Murdock at his home in the 1300 block of N. Main St. in Mount Airy.

He was not home.

A short time later, Marjorie VanSant, a resident in the 1000 block of N. Main St. in Mount Airy, called police after being awakened by the sound of her Chevrolet Blazer's engine being started outside her bedroom window.

"I turned on the outside lights and saw someone pulling away in my Blazer," said VanSant. She called police, who found the vehicle nearby, abandoned and smashed against a tree.

VanSant is the sister of Carroll Robinson.

Pub Date: 11/13/96

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