Man charged with arson in Essex fires

ESSEX, Md. - Investigators with the Baltimore County Police Department are looking into three fires that happened Friday morning that they believe were intentionally set.

The first was at 4:11 a.m. at the 100 block of Wiltshire Road. Officials say a carport was set on fire, and a boat and a car were destroyed.

At 5:37 a.m. a car along the 100 block of Riverside Road was burned. While crews were at that fire, they were called to a garage fire at a vacant home on the same block.

A 22-year-old man has been taken into custody and charged. Officials say Just Karmasek of North Marylyn Avenue was located in the area and has been charged with three counts of second degree arson, one count of first degree arson, two counts of CDS possession, two counts of theft less than $100 and one count of burglary.

A spokesperson for the police department says Karmasek was found laying in the grass behind a home near the fires.

Residents in the area say they are surprised by the string of incidents. They describe the neighborhood as "quiet."

"I just heard a big boom, come out and the car was on fire," said Jamie Brown.

Brown lost a dune buggy, jeep and a boat in the string of fires.

"My uncle next door has a rope swing in the backyard. They started burning that," Brown said.

Brown was visibly frustrated as he waited in his yard for an insurance adjuster on Friday afternoon. The boat, he said, he had recently purchased and repaired.

"I don't even have it in my name yet," Brown said. "I'm still waiting on the title."

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