COLUMBIA, Md. (WMAR) - UPDATE | Howard County Police arrested 25-year-old Alejandro Rodriguez Saturday afternoon in the 5400 block of Eliots Oak Road in Columbia. Rodriguez faces multiple counts of assault, arson, and malicious burning charges.
Police are looking for a man in connection to an apartment blaze that fire investigators are calling arson.
According to authorities, Howard County police officers and fire crews were called to the 5300 block of Harpers Farm Road in Columbia around 9:30 Friday night.
Police initially responded to the area for a report of a disturbance. When they arrived they found a resident in the parking lot with visible injuries. As officers approached the building a man began shouting obscenities from a second-story apartment window. Police also saw flames inside the apartment. Officers forced open the door but the suspect fled out of a rear window and is on the loose.
Officers evacuated adjacent buildings and fire crews brought the blaze under control in about an hour. No one was injured, but 17 displaced residents are getting help from the American Red Cross.
Arson and domestic violence investigators are leading the investigation.
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