Jessica Poole, a Maryland woman, is accused of torching Al’s County Kitchen restaurant after she was fired from the establishment, causing a quarter of a million dollars in damages in a blaze that required a massive Fire Department response.
The 26-year-old woman from Harwood, Maryland was accused of starting a fire that spread to several businesses in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. No one was injured but several people were displaced, according to fire officials. The fire broke out in the early morning hours.
Here’s what you need to know:
Around 100 Firefighters Battled the Blaze
Mark Brady, the public information officer for the Prince George’s County Fire Department, said on Twitter that it took approximately 100 firefighters to battle the large fire.
“Around 1:30 am Building Fire in 14700 block of Main Street in downtown Upper Marlboro,” he wrote. “2-story commercial building that includes a resteraunt. Fire showing on arrival. Went to 3-Alarms. Appx 100 Firefighters. Fire out at about 3am.”
No major injuries were reported, Brady wrote, but three people were displaced from upper-floor apartments as a result of the blaze. According to a Fire Department press release, the 3- Alarm fire “significantly damaged an Upper Marlboro building this morning. At around 1:30 am, Thursday, August 2, 2018, Prince George’s County Firefighters were alerted to a building fire at 14703 Main Street in the Town of Upper Marlboro.”
Firefighters arrived “within 3 minutes of dispatch to find fire coming from a restaurant at that address,” the release continued. “Three alarms, approximately 100 personnel, were summoned to the scene to extinguish the fire which occurred around 3:00 am. Fortunately, no firefighter or civilian injuries were reported. Three occupants from apartments on the top floor of this 3-story building were displaced and assisted by the American Red Cross.”
Fire Officials Allege That Jessica Poole Was Recently Fired From the Restaurant Where the Blaze Started
The County Office of the Fire Marshal “estimated fire loss at $250,000,” according to the Fire Department’s press release. Fire officials announced the arrest on Thursday, August 2, 2018.
“During the course of the investigation fire investigators determined the cause to be incendiary. Investigators also developed a suspect identified as Jessica Marie Poole, 26 years-of-age, of Harwood, MD,” the release alleged. “She is a prior employee of the business and had recently been fired. She was arrested this afternoon.”
According to the Fire Department’s press release, Jessica Marie Poole now stands accused of two counts of 1st degree arson, a count of second-degree arson, and two counts of reckless endangerment. Fire officials also released a mugshot of Jessica Marie Poole in accusing her of causing the arson fire.
“I commend the firefighters that battled this difficult fire and to our fire investigators and law enforcement officers for determining the cause, identifying a suspect and ensuring the suspect was arrested,” said County Fire Chief Benjamin Barksdale in the release.
He added in the news release: “I would also like to acknowledge our County Police Department for making the arrest and to the Anne Arundel County Fire and Police Departments for assisting in this investigation.”
According to jail records, Jessica Poole is married.