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By: David M Higgins II, Publisher

Mechanicsville, MD– On Friday, February 21, 2020, at 7:59 p.m. The Mechanicsville Volunteer Fire Department(MVFD) responded to a reported structure fire on Lockes Hill Road.

Upon arrival, the MVFD discovered that there was a small fire started by an occupant of the home and he was refusing to leave. The fire was extinguished by another occupant of the home.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal-Southern Region responded to investigate. Through the investigation, the Fire Marshal determined Virgil Pendry, 61 of Mechanicsville, MD had started the fire by igniting items in a room he rented for the owner of the home. The homeowner was the one that extinguished the fire.

Pendry was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital for evaluation and was released. Following his release from the hospital, the Deputy State Fire Marshal placed Pendry under arrest without incident.

Pendry was taken to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center and placed on a no-bond status.

Pendry has been charged with First Degree Arson and Malicious Burning in the First Degree. Both charges are felonies and Pendry faces 35 years and/or $55,000 in fines if found guilty.

Pendry has a Bail Hearing scheduled for Monday, February 24, 2020, at 1 p.m. in Courtroom 2 of the St. Mary’s County District Court.

There are no injuries or deaths reported in this case. A complete Fire Marshal’s report may be issued at a later time.

The Southern Maryland Chronicle will continue to follow this case and bring updates when necessary.

Case Number: D-043-CR-20-000277


David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...