Owner Picks Up Pieces, Officials Investigate 5th Cambridge Arson - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Owner Picks Up Pieces, Officials Investigate 5th Cambridge Arson

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CAMBRIDGE, Md. - Back in December, Monsunta Cornish and his wife bought the 455 High Street property with hopes to turn it into a community convenient store called "The Corner."

But on Friday, he was not fixing up the shop. Instead, he's boarding it up after an early morning arson.

"You don't really know what to think until you come out here this morning and really look at it," said Cornish.

As Cornish's family members help pick up the pieces, Maryland State Fire Marshals investigate what they believe could be related to the string of arsons in the area since March 20th.

"It's got to be frustrating for the community," said Dep. Matt Stevens. "It's getting a little out of hand now."

Stevens says someone forced their way into the building, which was secure, and set the second floor on fire. All of the arsons were only about a half-a-mile apart from each other.

The first arson was reportedly set on March 20th at 11:44 on 617 High Street, causing an estimated $90,000 in damages.  The second and third arsons were reportedly set on March 26th between 8-8:20 PM at 601 Cross Street and 523 Cedar Street, costing $15,000 and $20,000 respectively.

The latest blaze occurred exactly three months from the last arson, less than a quarter-of-a-mile away on 812 Fairmount Avenue, which reportedly sustained an estimate of $95,000 in damages.

William Willis says his parents owned the house up until last December.

"It's been months really and I took it all in and it's a very unpleasant situation," said Willis.

Now, residents wait as investigators desperately try to gather substantial leads.

"I have no idea [what to do next]," said Cornish. "No idea."

"These houses have all been vacant, what could be next?" Stevens asked. "Could it be an occupied house where somebody gets hurt or even worse?

"Or could this be juveniles playing and one gets injured or killed setting a fire?"

Investigators say they estimate $25,000 of damage to the latest building.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal asks residents living in the community and anyone passing through to contact investigators with any information about all five incidents.  To contact the Lower Eastern Shore Regional Office of the State Fire Marshal, call 410-713-3783.

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