Police investigating whether incendiary device caused Essex house fire

Baltimore County police are investigating whether an incendiary device might have caused an Essex house fire Tuesday morning that sent three people, including a firefighter and a police officer, to an area hospital.

A female resident on the first floor of the home in the 700 block of Essex Ave. told investigators she heard a loud noise and immediately saw flames and broken windows.

"We have reason to believe there may have been an incendiary device, but it has not been confirmed," said police and fire spokeswoman Elise Armacost.

A police officer and a neighbor helped the woman escape shortly after 9 a.m. She was taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. She had not been publicly identified as of late Tuesday, and there was no information available on her condition.

A firefighter and a police officer were treated at Franklin Square Medical Center for injuries that were not life-threatening.

The roof of the two-story home was nearly gone and the vinyl siding was charred. Several nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution.

"I ... saw flames shooting out of the roof," said Elmer Schucker, who lives on Essex Avenue and watched firefighters battle the blaze. "You don't expect something like that."

Late Tuesday, police were questioning a neighbor who Armacost said "may be able to shed some light" on the incident. She declined to elaborate.




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