In a strange twist, Baltimore County police have arrested an employee of the Baltimore City Fire Department for allegedly setting his home ablaze last winter.
Joseph Alphonzo Heinze II currently resides in Parkville, but almost exactly one year ago, he was living in Middle River. According to police, his house there on Cutty Sark Road caught fire on Dec. 22, 2015. Units arrived at the house and found the first floor ablaze, but were able to extinguish it. They didn’t report any injuries.
Police say Heinze, 33, told investigators that left his house and found it on fire when he returned. But over the course of the last year, arson investigators have been looking into the incident and now believe they have evidence that says otherwise. Detectives identified Heinze as the person responsible for the fire and obtained a warrant for his arrest on one charge of first-degree arson on Dec. 6. He was detained this morning.
A spokesman from Mayor Catherine Pugh’s office said Heinze didn’t begin working for the the Baltimore City Fire Department until May 18 of this year, meaning the alleged arson occurred well before he was hired. The spokesman also said he has been suspended without pay.
Authorities are holding Heinze at the Baltimore County Detention Center without bail. Online judicial records show he’s due to appear in court on Jan. 20, 2017.
This story has been updated with new information from Mayor Catherine Pugh’s office. It has also been corrected to reflect that Heinze is an EMT for the department rather than a firefighter, as stated by police.
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