'Fire selfie' arsonist gets 55 years in jail

Posted at 11:46 AM, May 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-31 17:50:17-04

A Pasadena man was sentenced to 55 years in jail in connection with the intentional fire-setting of a home on Wendover Road in Glen Burnie, according to the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Michael Clum, 26, pled guilty back in February to 25 charges including attempted first-degree murder, first-degree arson.

Early in the morning of July 17, 2015, police said Clum was drinking vodka with his girlfriend when he learned of a past sexual relationship between the woman and another man. He then obtained gasoline and drove to the man’s home with his girlfriend, the SAO said.

Clum poured gasoline on the front porch and set the home on fire, intending to kill the man, officials said. The intended target wasn't home, however, three others inside the single-family united escaped after smoke alarms alerted them to the blaze.

Officials said it took 23 firefighters about an hour to control the fire, yet the house was destroyed.

Clum fled the scene but returned the same day to take pictures of the destruction, police said, an act that eventually became known as Clum's "fire selfies."

"Mr. Clum's intentional and reckless actions in his attempt to kill one intended victim, almost killed another man, woman and child as they slept,” Anne Arudendel County State’s Attorney Wes Adams said in a news release. “His actions also put 23 of our first responders in harm's way as they battled this blaze in the middle of the night."   

Clum pled guilty to the following charges:

  • 4 counts of attempted first degree murder
  • 4 counts of attempted second degree murder
  • 2 counts of first degree arson
  • 1 count of second degree arson
  • 4 counts of first degree assault
  • 4 counts of second degree assault
  • 4 counts of reckless endangerment
  • 1 count of malicious burning
  • 1 count of malicious destruction of property

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