Yellow police tape surrounds the house a family used to call home along the 10300 block of Clark Road. The sheriff's office is calling it arson, and they've arrested Joshua Christian Moore, 18, of the 12500 block of Brandenburg Hollow Road in Myersville, in connection to the fire. Moore has been charged with first-degree arson and first-degree malicious burning.
"Neighbors and concerned citizens had given the police tips that they saw an individual with a red gas can walking toward the residence, and shortly thereafter, they saw the smoke, and they saw the same individual leaving the residence in a different direction," said Cpt. Tim Clarke, with the Frederick County Sheriff's Office.
Investigators with the sheriff's office say they believe the motive for this arson was a drug deal gone bad between the Moore and a person who lived in the house.
The sheriff's office found other evidence the family was being targeted.
"Earlier in the day, the family discovered that several tires on their vehicles had been slashed," Clarke said. "We were there earlier that Monday and took a report for that, which also indicates some type of retaliatory event."
Neighbors can't believe something like this happened in their neighborhood.
"I was quite shocked. Half the house had been burnt down, and the attic portion on the other side, you could see where it had burnt through," said Robin Taber, a neighbor.
The sheriff's office say this investigation is far from over.
"We are looking into whether there were any associates that assisted the individual," Clarke said. "We do know that he did drive to the scene. We're confident we know who was driving him to the scene. We're looking into that individual's participation or knowledge of what was going to take place."
The fire marshal's office says the damage estimate is $250,000, and they're calling the home a total loss.
The sheriff's office says Moore was taken to Frederick Memorial Hospital because he was threatening to harm himself. He's now in the Frederick County Adult Detention Center.
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