Essex Man Sets Fire and Commits Suicide

Baltimore County officials confirmed that there was a suicide at the site of Sunday night’s fire in Essex.

A 74-year-old man who set fire last night to his Essex apartment before committing suicide has been identified by Baltimore County Police investigators.

He is David Boyd Thompson of the 1000 block of Franklin Ave., 21221.

Police and fire crews were dispatched just after 11 p.m. to the Essex Co-Op Apartment Complex in the 1000 block of Franklin Ave. Firefighters found a small fire with heavy smoke in an eighth-floor unit; the sprinkler system had activated and was extinguishing the fire.

At 11:27 p.m., while fire crews were working on the ground floor to attach hoses to a standpipe, Thompson jumped from the 12th floor, the topmost floor. He landed about two feet from a BCoFD captain. EMS personnel provided emergency medical care, but the injuries were fatal.

Investigators determined that Thompson, who was scheduled to be evicted after being told he could not smoke in the building, set the fire in his eighth-floor apartment before committing suicide. They found several points of origin in the unit, as well as empty bottles of charcoal fluid and a lighter.

The one-alarm fire was contained to the suspect’s apartment, and no residents were displaced.