From the Office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal:
The Office of the State Fire Marshal has determined the cause of the August 25, 2015 fatal fire. Investigators determined the victim performed an act of self-immolation.
The investigation revealed Jaswant Singh (73) was home alone when he set himself on fire in the kitchen of the two-story home. Singh then walked into the living room where he collapsed and continued to burn until causing the floor to weaken, allowing him to fall into the basement of the dwelling. The fire caused moderate structural damage to the home until being discovered by Singh’s daughter; Jaspreet Chhatwal, who encountered heavy smoke conditions upon arriving home and opening both the garage door as well as the front door.
The 3:13 PM fire at 1106 Saddleback Way was brought under control by nearly 50 firefighters from Bel Air, Level, Abingdon and several other Harford County fire departments. Harford County Sheriff’s Office made valiant attempts to enter the home upon arriving prior to the fire department but were confronted by heavy smoke and high heat conditions which prevented them from fully searching the home.
Deputy State Fire Marshals worked with detectives from Maryland State Police; which is standard operating procedure on any fatal fire and foul play was ruled out. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner revealed the victim succumbed to thermal burn injuries. Working smoke alarms were located throughout the home.