Baltimore County Police Identify Victim In Arbutus House Fire


Maryland – A 51-year-old man was killed and his 97-year-old grandmother critically injured in a house fire just after midnight in the 900 block of Courtney Rd., 21227. Two other adult family members suffered non life-threatening injuries.

ArrestMichael Wayne Johnson, who lived at the home where the fire occurred, was trapped on the second floor and pronounced dead at the scene.

BCoFD crews were dispatched to a report of a dwelling fire with people trapped at 12:10 a.m. The first arriving engine company from the Arbutus Volunteer Fire Dept.  was on scene within six minutes and found heavy fire conditions throughout the two-story, single-family home.  Three members of the extended family (Johnson, his mother and the 97-year-old grandmother) were at home when the fire started; a fourth, Johnson’s sister, arrived home just before emergency responders arrived at the scene.

A Baltimore County Police officer from the Wilkens precinct and a Maryland State Police trooper –among the first on the scene — assisted with the rescue of the grandmother. Johnson’s sister had just arrived home when she saw the house on fire, with flames at the front door. After trying to alert her brother, she ran to her grandmother’s exterior bedroom window and tried to reach her through the window. The BCoPD officer and MSP trooper immediately helped her with the rescue by pulling the older woman through the exterior bedroom window. CPR was administered, and the woman was taken to the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in critical condition.

The mother and sister were transported to a local hospital with minor injuries.

The home suffered extensive damage. Fire investigators from Baltimore County Police are investigating the cause; a preliminary cause has not been determined at this time. Investigators say there is no evidence so far to suggest a crime.

Fire commanders placed the fire under control at 2:21 a.m., according to the report.

Twenty-seven Fire and EMS units responded to this scene.

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