Essex man's death ruled a suicide after house fire

October 01, 1997|By Melody Simmons | Melody Simmons,SUN STAFF

The death of a 19-year-old Essex man in a fire at his home yesterday was ruled a suicide by investigators, Baltimore County fire and police officials said.

Joshua Allen McAlister died in the fire in the first block of Terrace Road on a cul-de-sac off Eastern Boulevard.

After the fire was extinguished, a suicide note was found in the mailbox of the house, police said.

The fire began at 7: 04 a.m. and was contained in 15 minutes, said Battalion Chief Mark Hubbard, spokesman for Baltimore County Fire Department.

Hubbard said that the fire was reported by neighbors and passing motorists, who saw the smoke and called 911. Hubbard said that the victim shared the house with his father, Richard McAlister, who had left for work about an hour before the fire.

No neighboring buildings were damaged, Hubbard said.

An autopsy on McAlister is expected to be performed today.

A neighbor, Mike Maans, said neighbors and construction workers in the area tried to get into the two-story cottage in the residential neighborhood, but were unsuccessful.

Hubbard said damage estimates were unavailable, but that the living room was "moderately damaged" by the fire and the rest of the house suffered smoke damage.

Pub Date: 10/01/97

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