BCoFD: Essex high-rise fire set by tenant who committed suicide

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ESSEX, MD—Authorities say Sunday night’s high-rise fire in Essex was set by a tenant who committed suicide.

The 74-year-old has been identified as David Boyd Thompson, of the 1000-block of Franklin Avenue (21221).

Fire and police personnel responded to the Essex Co-Op Apartment Complex at around 11 p.m. on Sunday night.

Upon arrival, firefighters found a small fire with heavy smoke in an eighth-floor unit. The sprinkler system had activated and had begun extinguishing the fire.

At just before 11:30 p.m., while fire crews were working on the ground floor to attach hoses to a standpipe, Thompson jumped from the 12th floor, the top floor. He landed about two feet from a Baltimore County Fire Department captain. His injuries were fatal.

Investigators from the Baltimore County Police Department determined that Thompson, who was scheduled to be evicted, set the fire in his eighth-floor apartment before committing suicide. They found several points of origin in the unit, as well as empty bottles of charcoal fluid and a lighter.

The one-alarm fire was contained to the suspect’s apartment, and no residents were displaced.

Photo via Pixabay

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