HAMPSTEAD, Md. — Someone spotted a fire Wednesday, just behind the Wendy’s, along Hanover Pike in Hampstead, then a trash can on fire at the nearby Roberts Field Shopping Center and then another larger fire in a tree line along Crystal Court, a short distance from Lauren Hoffmeister’s home.
Four fires were allegedly set on fire Wednesday by 33-year-old Wesley England in Hampstead in Carroll County.
“On my drive home from work, I did see a fire engine up there, but I guess the chaos had already completed, but I didn’t see anything,” Hoffmeister said.
After the discovery of the third fire, people on a nearby street said they saw someone who appeared to be a woman walking away from the scene.
According to court records, the person was described as having a tattoo on their abdomen, wearing a short top, an orange bandana and pigtails.
Hours later, firefighters responded to a burning camper/trailer on Upper Beckleysville Road, and a Hampstead police officer spotted the suspect walking in the area and stopped him for questioning.
“During the course of their questioning, the gentleman actually admitted that he was the person responsible for those three other fires, and including the fourth and final fire,” said Sr. Deputy State Fire Marshal Oliver Alkire.
When asked why he set the fires, the suspect, now identified as England, said he wanted to see how long it would take first responders to arrive, and how the fires would burn in that atmosphere.