On Thursday, October 11 at approximately 5:33 p.m., 5th District officers were dispatched to a three-story townhouse in the 22000 block of Fair Garden Lane in Clarksburg for the report of a violent male suspect “destroying” the house.
Just as the caller to 9-1-1 was hanging up, the Emergency Communications Center call-taker could hear a smoke alarm going off in the background, but couldn’t confirm details of a fire, other than it was originating in the kitchen. Fire and Rescue personnel were also dispatched to the residence.
Upon arrival, the complainant who was outside the residence, confirmed that her boyfriend was still inside and had likely been drinking before becoming destructive and starting a fire in the kitchen of the residence.
Firefighters and one 5th District officer made entry into the first floor and were in the process of advancing the hose line to the first-floor kitchen when they encountered the suspect. He refused to leave and began throwing pots and hot/burnt debris at the firefighters and officer.
The stove was on fire with the fire extending to surrounding cabinets. Firefighters were able to begin extinguishing the fire before retreating from the residence. (By protocol, in any incidents in which there is violence, weapons involvement, barricade etc., MCFRS will wait for police to secure the scene. They make every effort to attempt to create a safe environment for those in close proximity to the fire.)
Officers entered the house a second time, which was still thick with smoke, and continued to be struck by objects thrown at them by the suspect, as they attempted to try to get the him to leave the house. Officers had to back off from their attempts, and began evacuating the adjoining townhouses.
The officers developed a plan that involved the use of protective shields and the possible use of a Taser when approaching the man a third time. The plan succeeded in protecting the officers from the thrown debris and the Taser was effectively deployed, preventing the male and officers from additional injury.
The suspect violently resisted officers’ attempts to handcuff him and remove him from the home as the fire grew more intense. One of the officers used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire on the stove, with flames then reaching three feet. The front and rear doors were opened to help dissipate the pervasive smoke. After the suspect was in handcuffs, firefighters assisted the officers in removing the suspect from the home, and then fully extinguished the fire.
The suspect, a 48-year-old resident of the house, was transported with non-life-threatening injuries, to include smoke inhalation, by Fire and Rescue personnel to an area hospital for emergency evaluation.
Ten officers who responded to the incident were transported to Holy Cross Hospital in Germantown for treatment of smoke inhalation and later released. The department thanks all the emergency room staff who provided excellent services to the officers.
Fire Marshals are conducting an investigation. Their investigation has determined the fire cause was incendiary (Arson), with fire damage about $2,000 total to structure and contents.
Charges are currently pending from both police and the fire marshals. The suspect’s name cannot be released until he has been charged.
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