Anne Arundel County fire crews responding to a fire at a townhouse in Crofton yesterday discovered a man in the basement who had died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said.
The fire, which started in a second-floor rear bedroom, tore through the roof of the townhouse in the 1100 block of Jeffrey Drive, causing an estimated $400,000 in damage, said Lt. Frank Fennell, a spokesman for the Anne Arundel County Fire Department.
Acting Sgt. Sara Schriver, a spokeswoman for the county Police Department, declined to identify the victim.
Fennell said 54 Fire Department personnel and trucks from Anne Arundel County, Prince George's County, Fort Meade and Annapolis responded to the fire after neighbors reported flames and smoke at 11:39 a.m.
Neighbors said that a couple moved into the townhouse about a year ago and lived there with their two young sons. The husband is a major in the Army, stationed at Fort Meade, neighbors said.
Fennell said fire officials were trying to determine the cause of the blaze. Arson investigators were on the scene with a dog trained to sniff for accelerants.