From the office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal:
Deputy State Fire Marshals have determined the cause of a mid- morning fire occurring at Denny’s Restaurant near the busy intersection of Rte. 24 and I-95. The fire which caused an estimated $500,000.00 damage to the 24 hour restaurant was determined to be incendiary (arson).
A patron discovered a fire in the men’s bathroom at approximately 10:20 a.m, August 3rd at the restaurant located in the 1300 block of Edgewood Road. The two-alarm blaze brought approximately 75 firefighters from several companies from Harford and Baltimore Counties to the scene. It took firefighters approximately 45 minutes to bring the fire under control. One employee and a firefighter from Abingdon Fire Company were transported to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center for medical treatment and later released. The restaurant built in 1988 and owned by Patrick Hess had approximately 50 guests and 20 employees at the time of the fire. All patrons safely exited the building upon discovering smoke throughout the restaurant.
A team of investigators spent the day sifting through debris searching for the cause of the fire. Deputy State Fire Marshals along with an accelerant detection K9 has concluded a fire was intentionally set in the men’s bathroom which eventually spread to the attic and roof. Investigators were able to retrieve video surveillance of a person of interest and seeking information in the identification of the person shown in the pictures. The unidentified person is described as a white male, 5’11 to 6’2, around 190 lbs. wearing an orange t-shirt, dark colored shorts, sunglasses, a dark colored baseball hat and either loafer-style shoes or sandals.
Troopers and Crime Scene Technicians with the Bel Air Barrack are assisting with the investigation. Anyone with information about this fire or the can identify the person in the photo are urged to call the Northeast Regional Office at (410) 836-4844 or the “Maryland Arson Hotline” at 1-800-492-7529