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Messick Road fire deemed arson

November 22nd, 2019 by WCBC Radio

The Maryland State Fire Marshal has ruled the fire that  destroyed a Messick Road home Thursday morning to have been a case of arson. The fire at the property of James Labutka at 11808 Messick Road caused a loss estimated at $100,000 to the structure and $50,000 in contents. The Cumberland Times News reports a passerby discovered the blaze about 11:40 a.m. and attempted to gain access to the home to determine if there were occupants inside, investigators said. First-arriving units reportedly found smoke and fire in the residence. The passerby reportedly suffered smoke inhalation and was treated at the scene by Allegany County Department of Emergency Services personnel. Cumberland Fire Department directed the fire operation following alert by the Allegany County 911 emergency center. The incident was investigated by state fire investigators and Lt. W. Shannon Adams, Cumberland Fire Department fire marshal. Investigators remained at the scene until late Thursday night to further the investigation with assistance of a state arson accelerant detection K-9 team. The point of origin of the blaze was not disclosed and remains under investigation, according to the fire marshal's office. Numerous volunteer fire departments from Allegany and Mineral counties responded to the scene. Anyone with information is requested to contact the state fire marshal's office at 301-766-3888.

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