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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Arson Suspect Arrested by Fire Investigators

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930

Prince George’s County *Fire Investigators have made an arrest in connection with two set fires to occupied homes.  The fires occurred yesterday at about 4:15 am in the 1400 block Early Oaks Lane and the 1200 block of Farmingdale Avenue in Capitol Heights.   The fire on Early Oaks Lane resulted in $250,000 estimated fire loss and injured 3 civilians and 2 firefighters; all injuries were minor.  The Farmingdale Avenue incident involved a set fire to the front porch that caused an estimated $500 in fire loss. 

A person of interest was identified by witnesses on the scene and taken into custody by County Police.  Fire Investigators joined the police in interviews and as a result charged him with four felonies and a misdemeanor.

Maurice D. McPherson, 28 years-of-age, was charged and transported to the Department of Corrections in Upper Marlboro.  McPherson has been charged with:

Arson –First Degree - Felony
Punishable by up to $50,000.00 in fines and 30 years in jail

Arson-Second Degree - Felony
Punishable by up to $30,000.00- 20 years

Assault- First Degree - Felony
Punishable by up to 25 years

Malicious Burning/1st Degree - Felony
Punishable by up to $5,000.00-5 years

Reckless Endangerment - Misdemeanor
Punishable by up to $5,000.00-5 years

The investigation into these fires and circumstances leading up to the arson's remain open and on going.  Additional charges could still be brought against McPherson.

*Fire Investigators are members of the Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department assigned to the Office of the Fire Marshal.  They are career firefighters that have received additional training in the various aspects of arson detection and the investigation into the cause and origin of fires.  Fire Investigators attend the county police academy and graduate as police officers with full law enforcement power and authority including making arrests.

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