NORTH EAST, Md. (WJZ) — A second suspect was arrested in an Elkton arson that injured Cecil County firefighters back in February.
The state fire marshal’s office announced Saturday 38-year-old Jessica Shires allegedly conspired with Dwight Holmes Jr. to intentionally start a fire within the Lakeside Mobile Home Park in North East in early February.
Shires, of North East, was arrested by Maryland State troopers Friday night without incident. She is facing 15 arson-related charges, including attempted second-degree murder, arson first and second degree and four counts of assault second-degree against first responders.
“The effects of arson have far-reaching implications and are detrimental to the safety of our communities,” said State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci. “Beyond the malicious destruction of property, acts of arson are extremely dangerous and risk the lives of innocent persons and our first responders.”
The North East Fire Company and other departments responded to a fire in the Lakeside Mobile Home Park in the 100 block of Superior Court on Feb. 10. Cecil County sheriff’s deputies and Maryland State Police arrived before the firefighters and tried to enter the home, thinking someone was inside.
Firefighters arrived moments later and about two minutes later, conditions in the home deteriorated, prompting firefighters inside to call a “mayday” distress signal. Firefighters and police helped a firefighter escape through a window. Four firefighters were taken to hospitals.
Deputy Chief State Fire Marshal and Northeast Regional Commander Derek A. Chapman noted the impact of the fire and thanked the investigators.
“There is no doubt this fire caused anxiety and great concern not only with the public but our partners in the fire service. The response and investigation have consumed an enormous amount of time and resources. These investigations comprised a true team effort among all of the agencies and those investigators involved. I want to thank everyone that helped from the Maryland State Police, ATF, Cecil County Sheriff’s Office, and the Cecil County States Attorneys Office.”