WICOMICO COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland State Fire Marshals have determined a fire in Wicomico County was not accidental, but in fact caused by a man pouring flammable liquid onto the home.

40-year-old Melvin Godinez, who lived at the home, was arrested in connection to the attempted arson Tuesday night.

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The investigation began when the Salisbury Fire Department responded to 203 Washington Street to assist Salisbury police about a report of a strange odor at 10:22 p.m that night.

After an origin and cause investigation was conducted, Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office determined the odor was from a flammable liquid poured onto and around the front porch of the two-story single-family home.

Salisbury police identified Godinez as the person responsible after witnesses said they saw Godinez poured a liquid and attempted to ignite it with a cigarette lighter.

The investigation also determined there was a civil dispute between Godinez and another resident of the home.

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(Photo Credit: Office Of The State Fire Marshal)

There were no injuries or damage reported.

Godinez was taken into custody and sent to Wicomico County Central Booking without incident, and is charged with first-degree attempted arson and two counts of reckless endangerment.

He faces 40 years in prison and or $60,000 in fines if convicted.


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Written By WJZ Apprentice Ju’waun Morgan