The Aegis
Harford County

Pickup truck stolen, burned in Havre de Grace Wednesday

A pickup truck was reported stolen and later found burning under the Route 40 Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge early Wednesday morning.

Fire companies were made aware of the truck fire, reported as an "explosion" on social media, at 4:43 a.m., according to a notice of investigation issued by the State Fire Marshal's Office late Wednesday morning.


The truck was set on fire by an unknown suspect or suspects, and the blaze caused the truck's tires, windows and a propane tank in the truck bed to explode, according to Senior Deputy State Fire Marshal Oliver Alkire, a spokesperson for the Fire Marshal's Office.

The owner, Charles A. Maslin, reported earlier to police that the 2012 Ford F-450 extended-cab pickup had been stolen. The truck was destroyed by the fire and explosion, which caused an estimated $25,000 in damage to the vehicle, according to the Fire Marshal's Office.


"It was a total burnout," Alkire said.

The Susquehanna Hose Company responded to the incident, along with the Maryland Transportation Authority Police.

The fire started on the exterior of the driver's side of the truck. It took 15 minutes to get the blaze under control, according to the Fire Marshal's Office.

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The MdTA officers initially responded because of the location, under the bridge on the Havre de Grace side of the Susquehanna River. The agency is responsible for law enforcement on state toll facilities, such as the Hatem Bridge.

The Fire Marshal's Office is overseeing the investigation, with assistance from the Havre de Grace Police Department, Alkire said. The Havre de Grace Police took over the police side of the investigation from the MdTA Police, MdTA spokesperson John Sales said.

Alkire said his K-9 unit, Kachina, discovered at the scene a "possible accelerant" used to start the fire. The evidence has been submitted for laboratory analysis.

The burning truck was found under the Hatem Bridge on a dirt path that leads to the river from Superior Street in Havre de Grace. Alkire said the suspect, or suspects, "had to have intimate knowledge of the area and the access road back in there."

Maslin's wife, Lori, operated the annual Havre de Grace Seafood Festival in Tydings Park, which was canceled for this year after the City Council declined to vote on an application for the 36th annual festival in the wake of community protests about Charles Maslin's 1999 conviction for sexually abusing a child and his involvement in an event which children attend. Charles Maslin served on the Havre de Grace City Council prior to the conviction.


Although the Seafood Festival will not take place this year, the City Council did approve an application in late March to put on the inaugural Fish, Fowl and Folk Festival at Concord Point on Aug. 6.

Anyone who has information about the fire is asked to call the state's arson hotline at 1-800-492-7529, or the Fire Marshal's regional office in Bel Air at 410-836-4844.