Juvenile charged with fire arson; unrelated to playgrounds, other recent fires

A juvenile arrested and charged with arson in a Laurel fire is likely not involved in the string of seven fires that have hit Laurel in the last few months, according to county fire investigators.

Prince George's County Fire/EMS officials said in a release that a door mat was set on fire at a first-floor apartment in the 8700 block of Contee Road around 10:20 a.m. Tuesday. Later that day, Prince George's County Police officers investigating a vandalism complaint in the same area as the fire detained a teenager, who was later questioned by Prince George's County Fire investigators. The next day, fire investigators arrested the juvenile and charged him with first degree arson.

County fire investigators and Laurel Police continue to investigate seven other Laurel fires they believe were set intentionally. Two fires destroyed playground equipment at Discovery Community Park and Emancipation Community Park. Other fires were outside a restaurant, office building and grocery store; near the outdoor stage at Granville Gude Park; and in a garage at Laurel Fuel Oil and Heating.

City officials are offering up to $10,000 as a reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in connection with the fires. To leave a tip anonymously, contact the Laurel Police Department's tip line at 301-498-7645 or the Prince George's County fire tip line at 301-77-ARSON.

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