Grasonville man charged with neighborhood arson
GRASONVILLE — A 27-year-old Grasonville man has been charged with setting fire to a neighbor’s house.
Grasonville Volunteer Fire Department responded to a fire at a one-story, single family residence at 102 Jewel Court at 3:45 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17. The fire was out when firefighters arrived.
Another neighbor who happened to be driving by saw the smoke and alerted home owner Patricia Dotson, 76, and her granddaughter, who were napping inside the home, according to the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office. They were able to exit the residence safely. No injuries were reported.
The neighbor called 911 and alerted the fire department, then went on to extinguish the fire, the fire marshal’s office reported.
Investigators said fires were intentionally set in multiple locations on the exterior of the home. The home’s smoke alarm was present but did not activate due to the fire location on the outside of the house; the small exterior fires caused an estimated $3,000 in damages, the fire marshal’s office reported.
Deputy state fire marshals from the Upper Eastern Regional Office said their investigation lead them to Sean Nicholas Murphy of 632 Caspian Dr. Investigators allege Murphy poured gasoline and set multiple fires on the exterior of the house.
They obtained a search and seizure warrant for Murphy’s residence, and a Maryland State Police trooper transported Murphy from his house to the Centreville MSP barracks for questioning. Murphy was arrested Monday night, Sept. 18, at his home.
He was charged with first-degree arson, two counts of reckless endangerment, firstdegree malicious burning and malicious destruction of property over $1,000.
Murphy is being held at the Queen Anne’s County Detention Center on no bond.
If convicted of all charges, Murphy faces a maximum penalty of 48 years in prison and/ or $67,500 in fines, according to the fire marshal’s office.
Investigators with the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office say gasoline was poured and multiple fires started on the exterior of this home on Jewel Court in Grasonville.
SEAN NICHOLAS MURPHY