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Man Charged With Arson After Burning Down Homeless Person's Tent

WASHINGTON COUNTY,  Md. (WJZ)  -- Hagerstown deputies arrested and charged a 31-year-old man with arson after he allegedly burned down a homeless person's makeshift tent.

Justin Lee Clark has been charged with first-degree arson, first-degree malicious burning, malicious destruction of property over $1,000 and theft.

Fire officials responded to the 1700 block of Massey Boulevard shortly before 3:30 p.m. on May 28 for a reported fire behind a tractor supply store. Crews were able to extinguish the flames within minutes of responding to the scene. Fortunately, no one was injured.

After a thorough investigation, deputy fire marshals determined that the tent was intentionally set on fire. Investigators obtained security footage in the area and learned that Clark purchased a gas can and a small amount of gas before walking towards the area of the fire.

Clark was positively identified during the investigation and was arrested without incident on June 4.

"We will not tolerate this type of behavior towards some of our most vulnerable Marylanders," stated State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci. "This was someone's home. I applaud the work of investigators in this case, who pursued the person responsible. Everyone deserves to enjoy the same peace and tranquility that we all expect when we go home," Geraci stated.

Clark is currently being held at the Washington County Detention Center.


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