Harford County teen charged in $750K barn fire in Pylesville

·2 min read

Jun. 20—A 15-year-old boy has been charged with arson stemming from a large barn fire in northern Harford County on Sunday afternoon that caused over $750,000 in damages.

The youth, whose name was not released because he is a juvenile, was arrested and charged with two counts of malicious burning and one count of arson in connection with the fire, according to Senior Deputy State Fire Marshal Oliver Alkire.

The Norrisville Volunteer Fire Company and multiple surrounding departments responded just before 12:30 p.m. to reports of a barn fire in the 5300 block of Onion Road. Upon arrival, fire crews found a barn approximately 50 foot by 100 foot fully engulfed. The barn contained farm machinery, grain and a workshop, Alkire said. The barn and its contents are a complete loss.

After investigating the origin and cause of the fire, investigators from the Office of the State Fire Marshal concluded the fire was intentionally set.

During the course of the examination, investigators were told that the boy's father was an employee at the barn and his father was able to stay overnight on the property as a benefit, Alkire said. The boy visited his father and then went in the barn; other employees and neighbors saw him in the barn soon before the fire, Alkire said.

After the youth was located, with the parents' permission, investigators interviewed the boy with his parents present, Alkire said. From the interview, investigators confirmed the youth was responsible but do not have a motive for the crime, Alkire said.

The Harford County State's Attorney's Office has charged the boy with second-degree arson, first-degree malicious burning and malicious destruction of property.

The youth was released to the custody of his parents. The charges will be forwarded to the Department of Juvenile Services within the next few days. Once DJS receives it, a case manager will be assigned and they will take over the case, Alkire said.