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Police Question Neighbor In Essex Blaze That May Have Been Caused By Firebomb

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Christie Ileto joined WJZ's News Team in the fall of 2012. She was...
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ESSEX, Md. (WJZ)—The cause of a massive fire remains under investigation. A homeowner tells police she heard a loud noise right before the fire started and now police are investigating whether a bomb is the cause.

Christie Ileto explains.

Baltimore County Police say they’re now questioning a neighbor they say may have information about the fire.

WJZ viewers caught the raging flames engulfing a two-story home in the 700-block of Essex Road, a fire the homeowner barely escaped with the help of an officer and neighbor.

Tuesday night, fire investigators survey what’s left of this charred, roofless home now marked with signs that read “DANGER” and “Arson Reward.”

Neighbors are still horrified.

“Never would I thought that,” said Phyllis Wendt. “Just completely shocked.”

The homeowner tells officials she was on the first floor when she heard a loud noise and immediately saw flames.

“The nature of this call, the scene that this woman described with the sudden noise, window shattering, has led us to suspect that there might have been an incendiary device involved,” said Elise Armacost, spokesperson for Baltimore County.

Investigators are now questioning a neighbor who lives next door. They believe he may have information about the fire.

“Very odd,” said Debbie Nickels.

That’s how Nickels describes her neighbor’s recent behavior. Outside his home, there are various messages scribbled on the walls of his front porch.

“He stayed to himself. The only time we would ever see him is if he was in his car,” Nickels said.

Investigators say they hope his interview will shed light on the fire that left the two-story home completely gutted.

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