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Rawlings man charged with arson of home next to his residence

Staff Writer
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Derik Gene Sanders

ALLEGANY COUNTY, Md. - Deputy state fire marshals recently arrested a Rawlings man within hours after determining he was responsible for intentionally setting a vacant home beside his residence on fire.

On Oct. 31, 2020, at approximately 11:15 a.m., neighbors called 911 after discovering a vacant mobile home on fire at 15807 Blooming Fields Drive SW, located within the Blooming Fields Mobile Home Park.

Firefighters from Rawlings, Cresaptown, and other nearby fire departments arrived on the scene and discovered the rear of the approximately 20' x 80' mobile home on fire. Firefighters were able to contain the fire within ten minutes; however, the home sustained extensive damage, and it is considered a complete loss.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal was requested to conduct an origin and cause investigation, and a team of deputy state fire marshals determined the fire was intentionally set.

Investigators were assisted by witnesses who reported observing Derik Gene Sanders, 33, fleeing from the inside of the home moments after observing the fire. Sanders, who lived next door to the involved residence, was taken into custody without incident. Sanders was charged with second degree arson, home invasion, first degree malicious burning, and malicious destruction of property over $1,000.

Sanders is currently being held without bond at Allegany County Detention Center. If convicted, he faces over 50 years imprisonment and nearly $40,000 in fines.