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Man sets fire to motel causing $750,000 in damages, 46 people displaced in St. Mary’s County

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Posted at 10:56 PM, Jun 04, 2024

A Leonardtown man set a Super 8 motel on fire, displacing 46 people. It happened Monday night just after 8 p.m. in St. Mary’s County. The office of the State Fire Marshal says the blaze caused approximately $750,000 in damages.

An employee at the motel called 911, saying that the guests who booked room 310 were "arguing and causing a disturbance, had broken the windows, and barricaded the door."

When police got to the scene, they saw 64-year-old Anthony Cleaver Mason trying to start a fire inside room 310. The officers immediately hit the fire alarm and began to evacuate the motel.

48 firefighters from various area departments showed up to fight the flames. Multiple people were hurt jumping from the third floor of the motel.

A mother and her child were among the evacuated guests. Authorities say that the mother had a medical emergency and was taken to a local hospital. The child was placed in the care of family.

Mason was hit with the book. He was charged with two counts of second-degree arson, reckless endangerment, and malicious burning first-degree. Mason is now sitting in a cell at the St. Mary's County Detention Center without bond.