EDGEWOOD, Md. — “I feel the pain, and there’s nothing to get rid of that pain, and it’s gonna be there forever,” said Brenda Parks-Sanders.
She’s talking about the loss of three of her friends who were all killed in a fire on Simmons Court in Edgewood on May 9. Dionne Hill (also known as Dee-Dee), Ernest Lee and Kimberly Shupe were all killed in the fire.
Tuesday, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office held a press conference announcing Bobbie Sue Hodge started the fire.
Hodge is being held at the Harford County Detention Center without bond. She’s facing a few different charges, including arson and first-degree murder.
“It’s still a long way away from being over, but I do feel at peace and a lot safer knowing she’s off the streets,” said Parks-Sanders.
She saw Hodge after the fire and the interviews she did with WMAR-2 News where she stated she just got out in time. Hodge was also caught on camera when she came out of the home, on a neighbors cell phone.
“She had a big portrait and her dog. She already had her stuff. She even had a suitcase so she already packed everything. She knew what she was doing,” said Shantel Best.
Best said she talked with Hodge the morning of the fire. She added, “She knew exactly where everyone was. She was giving details.”
Many people had their suspicions about Hodge; some stated she made threats before. Parks-Sanders said she knew Hodge was behind the fire and is happy she’s finally arrested.
“I feel like we’re one step closer to getting closure, but I feel angrier than ever,” said Parks-Sanders.
She’s angry the landlord, Jeffrey Luck, isn’t being held accountable.
"If he would have done his job as a landlord these three innocent people wouldn’t be dead,” Parks-Sanders said.
At the press conference on Tuesday, the Maryland Fire Marshal said the home on Simmons Court was an illegal group home that had violations, saying “if a sprinkler system was in place, these folks would not have lost their lives.”
The State Fire Marshal’s Office stated Luck’s other home were cited and have since been fixed. However, the Simmons Court home was never inspected before the fire since there were no complaints.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office is encouraging you to contact them if you believe your landlord isn’t abiding by fire code. You can call them at 410-653-8980 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or request an inspection online at https://mdosfm.wixsite.com/blog [mdosfm.wixsite.com].