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60-year-old woman charged in Edgewood triple-fatal fire

Suspect had threatened to burn down townhouse
Posted at 5:00 PM, Jul 02, 2019

EDGEWOOD, Md. — Video captured by a neighbor shows the inferno as fire spread through the townhouse on Simons Court in Edgewood and Bobbie Sue Hodge getting out just in time.

"We were in the basement. We got woke up by one smoke alarm," said Hodge.

Hours later, a dejected Hodge sat alone with her dog and a few items she had saved grieving for the three people who did not make it out alive.

RELATED: 60-year-old resident charged with murder, arson in deadly Edgewood townhouse fire

"They were all good people,” Hodge told WMAR 2 News at the time. “They were all good people. I hope and pray to God, God took their souls to heaven to be with Him."

Two months later, some of the victims’ family members filed into the Harford County Sheriff's Office to learn an investigation into the deadly fire has ended with Hodge's arrest.

"After hundreds of hours of interviews, our detectives were able to unravel the layers of stories and evidence to successfully charge Bobbie Sue Hodge," said Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler.

Physical evidence from the fire pointed to arson.

"They determined the origin of the fire to be located in the townhome's second floor living room, and the cause of the fire to be incendiary in nature," said Maryland State Fire Marshal Brian Geraci.

According to charging documents, one of the people who died in the inferno made a phone call claiming Hodge had set the fire, and witnesses said they saw her leaving the second floor living room when the flames first appeared.

Days earlier, Hodge had made threats that she would burn down the townhouse.

"There were things that were said by the suspect in this case prior to the fire that caused some of the other residents concern," Gahler said.

Gahler said there had been calls for service to the house.

Calls, which apparently never hinted at the threat posed by a woman who could commit arson as people slept in the middle of the night and could appear to grieve for them hours later.

"Thank you guys for helping us,” Hodge said the morning of the blaze.

Hodge spoke to WMAR 2 News hours after the fire as she sat wrapped in a blanket.

“Thank the fire department... the police. It's just a blessing they all got here in time, but it's sad that three people did perish and animals," she said.

Hodge is being held at the Harford County Detention Center with no bail on a series of charges including arson and three counts of first-degree murder.