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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Arrest Made in Arson Fire That Critically Injured a Firefighter

Prince George’s County Fire Investigators have arrested a suspect charging him with crimes that include setting a house on fire. A fire that critically injured a firefighter.

On Wednesday, April 8, 2009, at about 2:00 AM, Public Safety Communications received a report of a house fire at 87 Herrington Drive, Largo. Firefighters arrived to find a fire involving a vehicle under a carport with fire extension into the house. During the battle to extinguish the blaze one of the first arriving firefighters, Fire Fighter/Medic Daniel McGown, became disorientated and subsequently fell unconscious inside the burning structure losing the protection of his complete face piece and breathing air. A safety device on McGown’s personal protective equipment emitted an audible warning to firefighters signaling that he was in distress. The downed firefighter was quickly located by other firefighters and removed from the structure. Fire Fighter/Medic Daniel McGown suffered 2nd degree/Partial thickness burns across face and ears, Corneal (eye) abrasions consistent with smoke injury, 1st degree burns from shoulders up, and super heated air inhalation.

Fire Investigators have determined that this was a set fire with an estimated fire loss of $200,000.00.

After following many leads and with the assistance of local and federal authorities, a warrant was obtained on August 14, 2009, for John Anthony Daniels, Jr., 58 years of age, of Upper Marlboro, MD. He is charged with the following crimes:

CR 6-102 ((a)) Arson 1st Degree Felony- $50,000/30 Years

CR 6-103, Arson 2nd Degree Felony - $30,000/20 Years

CR 6-104 ((b)) Malicious Burning 1st degree Felony-$5,000/5 Years

CR 3-204 ((a) 1)) Reckless Endangerment Misdemeanor-$5,000/5 Years

The suspect was arrested on August 18, 2009, by Fire Investigators and transported to the Department of Corrections in Upper Marlboro. He has been released on a $500,000 bond.

Prince George’s County Fire Investigators worked relentlessly to determine the cause of the fire and to identify a suspect. They were assisted by the County Police Homicide Unit and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The ATF National Laboratory processed the evidence that has led to this arrest. “This was a total team effort throughout this investigation of a set fire that critically injured one of our firefighters,” stated Acting Major Scott K. Hoglander of the Fire/EMS Department Office of the Fire Marshal. He said, “This arrest is a direct result of the cooperation and assistance by Police Homicide and the ATF.”

Prince George’s County Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones stated, “The Fire/EMS Department is fortunate to have an experienced and talented group of Fire Investigators that investigate crimes of arson. Through their diligence and with the assistance of other agencies an arrest has been made and we look forward to assisting with the judicial process to ensure that this person is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Fire Fighter/Medic McGown spent three weeks in the Burn Unit at the Washington Hospital Center followed by several months of rehab and follow-up treatments. He returned to a full-duty status in July.