Reward money increased in Riverdale arson case -- Gazette.Net



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In light of National Arson Awareness Week, designated by the U.S. Fire Administration as May 6 through 12, the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department is reminding residents that they are still seeking those responsible for setting a Riverdale house on fire in February, when seven firefighters were injured.

Reward money offered for anonymous tips has been increased in an effort to bring those with information forward, said Mark Brady, chief spokesman for the county’s fire/EMS department.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has posted their own reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible.

Brady said Crime Solvers is also increasing their reward amount from $1,000 to $2,000.

In order to be eligible for each fund, a person must contact the appropriate organization, as they are two separate award funds.

ATF can be reached any time of day by calling 888-ATF-FIRE and Crime Solvers can be reached at 866-411-TIPS. Brady said callers can remain anonymous.

On Feb. 24, firefighters responded around 9 p.m. to a fire in the basement of a vacant home at 6404 57th Ave. and were engulfed in a fireball, burning Bladensburg volunteer firefighters Ethan Sorrell, 21, and Kevin O’Toole, 22 among others.

O’Toole was the most severely injured and was recently released from MedStar Washington Hospital Center April 20 after 10 skin graft surgeries and rehabilitation.

County fire investigators ruled the fire as arson on Feb. 29, when the department began seeking the public’s assistance for information.

“This is about getting information, offering the most amount of money and encouraging someone to call and let us know who is responsible for this,” Brady said.

djgross@gazette.net