Update 8/21/2019- The owners of the My Wayside Store in Newburg, MD have been indicted and charged with first- and second- degree arson and filing fraudulent claims; plus various conspiracy charges.
Samuel Rudolph Davis(53, Washington, D.C.) and Briana Ashley Brown(29, Waldorf, MD) were indicted and charged on August 9, 2019. Daivs was arrested the same day and released on a cash bond, while Brown has an active warrant and has not been located.
During the investigation, both Brown and Davis provided statements that had many inconsistencies. as the investigation progressed, phone records showed that the pair were near the building in the same time frame as the fire; although both said they were not during that time.
The My Wayside Store has been closed since the fire in Jan. 2018. Davis has a court scheduled for September 6, 2019.
Newburg, Md- At 7:32 p.m. on January 9, 2018; a passing motorist noticed smoke coming from the My Wayside Store in Newburg, MD. The Newburg VFD responded with a total of 60 firefighters, and it was extinguished in approximately 25 minutes. The damage is estimated at $400,000 and is preliminary believed to be an “incendiary” fire. An incendiary fire is different than arson—
- Arson – The crime of maliciously and intentionally, or recklessly, starting a fire or causing an explosion.
- Incendiary – A fire intentionally ignited under circumstances where the person knows the fire should not be ignited.
Below is the report for the Office of the State Fire Marshal:
Time: 7:32 p.m.
Location / Address: 13074 Rock Point Road, Newburg, Charles County, Maryland
Type of Incident: Fire
Description of Structure / Property: Single Story Commercial Building
Owner / Occupant: My Wayside Property
Injuries or Deaths: None
Estimated $ Loss: Structure: $ 250,000.00 Contents: $ 150,000.00
Smoke Alarm Status: Present / Activated
Fire Alarm / Sprinkler Status: None
Primary Responding Fire Department: Newburg Volunteer Fire Department
# of Alarms: 1 # Of Firefighters: 60
Time to Control: 25 minutes
Discovered By: Passing Motorist
Area of Origin: Interior
Preliminary Cause: Incendiary
Additional Information: The investigation revealed the fire was incendiary in nature. The fire caused extensive damage to the store and its contents. The store was not open at the time of the fire. Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Office of the State Fire Marshal, Southern Regional Office, at 443-550-6832.
Images courtesy of the Bel Alton VFD Facebook Page