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Crime

26-year-old man ordered to attend rehab after setting Arnold home on fire

After pleading guilty last summer to first-degree arson, a 26-year-old Arnold man was released from prison earlier this month and ordered to report to a drug rehabilitation facility.

At a hearing Friday, Aaron Christopher Skorupa was sentenced to 20 years in prison, with all but time served being suspended. Skorupa had been in prison for over a year when Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Stacy McCormack directed him to the Project Chesapeake rehabilitation and mental health facility as a condition of his 5-year supervised probation.

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On Jan. 1, 2022, Skorupa started a fire in the first level of his Arnold townhouse that displaced three people and resulted in a firefighter needing brief hospitalization.

According to charging documents, Skorupa put stuffed animals inside a grill, poured motor oil and lighter fluid over the toys, and ignited the grill. He then wheeled the flaming grill into the first floor of his home and tipped it over. Witnesses reported seeing Skorupa throw logs into the home.

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Police said Skorupa, who had been running around the neighborhood without socks or a shirt asking for help, told fire investigators on the scene that “voices said to burn it down.”

About 40 firefighters from the Anne Arundel County, Annapolis and Naval Academy fire departments responded to the blaze, which caused an estimated $150,000 in damages. One of the firefighters was transported to the Burn Center at Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital with minor burn injuries to his neck and was released the same day.

The fire “caused extensive damage to the entire first floor” of the house and made it uninhabitable, police said. The American Red Cross assisted the three people living in the townhouse.

In addition to following the requirements of Project Chesapeake’s program, one of the conditions of Skorupa’s parole is that he stay away from the townhouse. He must also pay a total of $1,000 in restitution, starting in 2024, and abstain from consuming alcohol or illegal substances.


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