Suspect says he started the fire to stay warm.
A suspect has been arrested in connection with a building fire last week in Hagerstown. The City Fire Marshal's Office has charged Ernest L. Stitely, Jr., 26, with 4th-degree burglary, reckless endangerment, causing a fire through negligence and failing to notify the fire department about an unwanted fire.
Authorities say Stitely was seen in the building at 21 West Antietam Street on Thursday, Feb. 7th with his two dogs prior to the fire. Investigators also found documents with Stitley's name on them in a 4th floor apartment.
The Fire Marshal says Stitely admitted to starting a fire in the apartment's bathtub in order to stay warm. The fire spread to the open construction, and then to the upper floors. Stitely told investigators he ran from the building after the blaze got out of control.
The first units responding to the fire were dispatched at 10:57 PM on Feb. 7th. A half hour later, the fire went to two-alarms. The last units cleared the scene at 2:25 PM on Friday, Feb. 8th. A total of 66 units responded to the fire.
The building was not occupied at the time of the blaze.
Stitely's bond was set at $25,000. He posted bail and was released from custody.