Members of the Anne Arundel County Fire and Explosives Investigation Unit have filed criminal charges against a Linthicum man following a fire in an apartment building Saturday. The cause of the fire was determined to be incendiary. Brian J. Preissler, 38, of 200 block West Maple Road is charged with First Degree Arson, Second Degree Arson, First Degree Malicious Burning, Reckless Endangerment, and Destruction of Property following the two alarm fire in Linthicum.
Around 11:10 a.m. Saturday, the Anne Arundel County Fire Department received a 9-1-1 call reporting a structure fire in the 200 block of West Maple Road in Linthicum. Prior to arrival of fire department units, the dispatch center started receiving multiple calls reporting the fire. First arriving units found heavy fire to the rear of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th stories of a large 4-story wood-frame apartment building. The fire was escalated to a second alarm, bringing 45 firefighters to the scene, including mutual aid from Baltimore City, Baltimore and Howard Counties and the BWI Airport Fire Department. The fire was brought under control in about three hours.
The building contains nine apartments, six of which are currently occupied. There were a total of nine residents in the building at the time of the fire, and all individuals were able to safely evacuate prior to the arrival of the fire department.
Nine adults and five children were displaced by the fire and are being assisted by the Red Cross.
The damage is estimated at approximately $500,000. There were no civilian injuries; however two firefighters were transported to local hospitals with minor injuries. They were both discharged by Saturday evening.
No additional information is available at this time.