Eas­ton man faces ar­son charges for 2012 Cam­bridge fire

Dorchester Star - - Regional - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­pub.com Fol­low Caro­line/ Dorch­ester Ed­i­tor Dustin Holt on Twit­ter @Dustin_ Star­Dem.

CAM­BRIDGE — A Dorch­ester County Cir­cuit Court Grand Jury in­dicted an Eas­ton man on ar­son and first-de­gree as­sault charges in con­nec­tion with a 2012 fire at 507 Race Street in down­town Cam­bridge.

Per­nell Clan­ton, 26, of 1200 South Wash­ing­ton Street, was charged with seven counts of first-de­gree ar­son, two counts of sec­ond-de­gree ar­son and 22 counts of first-de­gree as­sault. The grand jury handed down the in­dict­ment on May 11. Clan­ton is be­ing held at the Dorch­ester County De­ten­tion Cen­ter with­out bond.

The late night four-alarm blaze on Dec. 16, 2016, de­stroyed a three-story build­ing at 507 Race Street in Cam­bridge and sent 21 res­i­dents and two fire­fight­ers to area hos­pi­tals. The first floor of the build­ing was oc­cu­pied by busi­nesses and the sec­ond and third floors were be­ing used as res­i­den­tial.

Af­ter the fire, Deputy Mary­land State Fire Mar­shal Bruce Bouch said the res­i­dents were in­jured when they jumped from the build­ing to es­cape the fire. He said all in­juries for the res­i­dents were bruises, sprains and pos­si­ble frac­tures from jump­ing onto the con­crete. He said the two fire­fight­ers were treated and re­leased from Dorch­ester Gen­eral Hospi­tal for stress re­lated in­juries.

Fire of­fi­cials said a K-9 ac­cel­er­ant team found pos­i­tive alerts of an ig­nitable liq­uid with-in the in­te­rior of the build­ing dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to charg­ing doc­u­ments, the Lower Shore Of­fice of the State Fire Mar­shal re­ceived a tip on Feb. 8, which led fire of­fi­cials to ques­tion Clan­ton.

Po­lice said dur­ing ques­tion­ing, Clan­ton ad­mit­ted he was up­set about an in­ci­dent on Dec. 16, 2012 be­fore the fire, and he poured ig­nitable liq­uid in front of the en­try area at 507 Race Street, then lit the liq­uid with matches.

Ac­cord­ing to the Of­fice of the State Fire Mar­shal, fire­fight­ers re­sponded to 507 Race Street af­ter a fire was re­ported at 10:46 p.m. The build­ing con­tained a cloth­ing store on the first floor with four apart­ments on the sec­ond floor and four apart­ments on the third floor. Five of the eight apart­ments were oc­cu­pied and res­i­dents es­caped the flames af­ter work­ing smoke alarms alerted res­i­dents of the fire.

About 100 fire­fight­ers from 13 fire com­pa­nies brought the fire un­der con­trol in about two hours.


Fire crews bat­tle a blaze at 507 Race Street in Cam­bridge on Dec. 16, 2012.

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