Pizza shop fire investigated as arson case

March 02, 2004|By Gus G. Sentementes | Gus G. Sentementes,SUN STAFF

Howard County police and fire authorities yesterday were investigating an arson that seriously damaged an Elkridge pizza and sub shop early Saturday, causing more than $300,000 in damage.

No one was injured in the fire, which began about 3:30 a.m. at Philly's Best Pizza and Subs in the 6100 block of Meadowridge Road, police said.

Police and fire investigators detected an "unusual odor" and found several areas where the fire originated, leading them to conduct an arson investigation, police said.

Investigators also found an "incendiary device" inside the business, and they determined that the shop's front bay window had been broken and the device thrown inside, police said.

Spokesmen for the police and fire departments would not further describe the device because of the continuing investigation. Investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisted in the investigation, police said.

Troy Farms Beer, Wine and Spirits, a liquor store next to the shop, was also closed yesterday because of the fire, according to a sign on its door.

It was not immediately clear how much damage the liquor store incurred. Neither owners of the businesses nor the property could be reached for comment yesterday.

Investigators have no suspects. Anyone with information is encouraged to call 410-313- 3700.

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