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Thursday morning house fire in Joppa ruled arson

Arson is suspected in a fire that caused an estimated $50,000 in damage to a house in the 400 block of Trimble Road early Thursday morning, according to the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

“Investigators were able to recover evidence that the fire was indeed arson or intentionally set,” Senior Deputy State Fire Marshal Oliver Alkire, a spokesperson for the fire marshal’s office, said.

The one-story single-family house, owned by Thomas J. Kuemmer, is under renovation, and no one was inside at the time of the fire. No injuries were reported, according to a notice of investigation from the fire marshal’s office.

Alkire declined to elaborate on what led investigators to suspect arson as the case is still under investigation. He said the investigation of the fire, which was reported shortly after 2 a.m., “will probably continue well throughout the day.”

Anyone with information should contact the fire marshal’s Northeast Regional Office in Bel Air at 410-836-4844 or the agency’s tip line, 1-800-492-TIPS — tipsters can remain anonymous, Alkire said.

The Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company was the primary responding company, with support from the Abingdon Fire Company, Aberdeen Proving Ground Fire & Emergency Services, and the Kingsville and White Marsh fire companies, according to the NOI and a news release from Joppa-Magnolia.

Joppa-Magnolia’s fire chief arrived two minutes after first responders were dispatched and reported “fire showing” on the house’s front porch, according to the fire company news release.

“Firefighters made an aggressive interior attack,” according to the release. “It took about 20 minutes to bring the blaze under control.”

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