Arson investigators find connection in 4 vehicle fires

August 04, 2002|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,SUN STAFF

Anne Arundel County fire officials are conducting an arson investigation of four vehicle fires that burned Wednesday in Arnold and the Glen Burnie area, and that apparently targeted individuals with a connection to an Arnold plumbing business.

The fires occurred between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. and destroyed a car and three pickup trucks that belonged to the owner of Bay State Drains and others connected to the company, said Anne Arundel fire division Chief John M. Scholz.

"We can say they all are linked," Scholz said. "We have some leads but don't have any suspects at this point."

He estimated the damage at more than $50,000.

The first fire was reported at 1:26 a.m. in the 300 block of Alameda Parkway in Arnold at the home of Robert Lake, the owner of Bay State Drains. It damaged a pickup truck, a BMW and siding on the house, Scholz said.

Firefighters were called to the next blaze at 2:05 a.m. in the 700 block of Stevenson Road in Glen Burnie, where a pickup truck was in flames at the residence of Barry Anderson, an employee of Bay State Drains. The truck, owned by Lake, was destroyed.

The third fire was reported at 2:42 a.m. on Gilmore Street in Ferndale. A pickup truck owned by John Hafer, a subcontractor for Bay State Drains, was destroyed, Scholz said.

County fire investigators used the department's accelerant-sniffing canine - a retriever named Iris - to pinpoint areas at the fire scenes for sample collection. Fire officials are awaiting the results of a lab analysis.

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