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Police: Elkridge man sets home on fire with two people inside, dog killed in fire

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Brener Alfredo Mendoza-Mendez 2.jpg
Posted at 1:42 PM, Apr 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-01 13:45:55-04

HOWARD COUNTY — An Elkridge man has been charged with attempted murder after he set his home on fire with two other people, including a child, inside.

Brener Alfredo Mendoza-Mendez, 31, is charged with attempted first- and second-degree murder; first and second-degree arson; first and second-degree assault; and reckless endangerment.

He also is charged with animal cruelty as a pet dog died in the fire. He is being held without bond at the Howard County Detention Center.

Police and Howard County Department of Fire & Rescue Services (HCDFRS) personnel responded to a trailer fire in the 8000 block of Joetta Drive in Elkridge on March 17.

When they arrived on scene, the trailer was fully involved with fire. It took fire personnel around one hour to extinguish the trailer, which was posted as uninhabitable.

Police located a woman outside who reported that she and a 5-year-old child had evacuated the home.

Through investigation, police determined that Mendoza-Mendez was renting a room in the trailer. Detectives learned that Mendoza-Mendez was seen pouring a liquid inside the home and setting it on fire.

Police and HCDFRS Office of the Fire Marshal officials determined that the liquid was gasoline and the cause of the fire was arson.

They located Mendoza-Mendez outside the trailer at the time of the incident. He was initially taken to the hospital to be treated for health issues unrelated to the fire.

When doctors cleared him for release on March 29, police took him to the booking center for charges. Detectives are still investigating the motive.

The Red Cross assisted four adults and two children who had been living at the residence and were displaced by the fire.