Black Sets Fire to House Full of People – On Purpose

December 19, 2013

    Jordan Grimes was caught by the Police as he ran away from the fire.
Jordan Grimes was caught by the Police as he ran away from the fire.

Baltimore firefighters battled a rowhome fire in the northwest part of the city on Monday afternoon, which led to charges against a man who police believe started it.

Firefighters were called to a home in the 2800 block of Ridgewood Avenue around 4:40 p.m., where they found flames coming from the first floor of the home and saw a man and two women jumping from a second-floor ledge.

According to a police report, one of the women had burns on her face and her clothes were smoking, while the second woman was partially on fire.  Other people who had already escaped used blankets and sheets to catch the victims who jumped.

Firefighters were able to quickly put the fire out, and they learned from witnesses that a man set the place on fire and then ran away.

Officers with the Northwest District who found the man in the area chased him down and caught him. He was later identified as 26-year-old Jordan Grimes.

Investigators said they believe there were as many as 10 people inside the home when the fire started. Three victims were still being treated at the Bayview Burn Center as of late Tuesday morning.

Investigators are still looking into why Grimes may have set the fire, but they said they were called to the same home about two hours beforehand for reports of an assault.

Police said a 40-year-old woman at the home, who identified herself as Grimes’ girlfriend, said Grimes had assaulted her with a baseball bat and then ran away.  The woman was taken to an area hospital for treatment.

Fire officials determined that Grimes used some kind of ignitable liquid to start the fire, which was sent in a first-floor vestibule.  He was charged Tuesday with attempted murder, arson and other related violations.

The fire caused about $50,000 worth of damage, according to the police report.