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Posted at 11:44 AM ET, 10/ 1/2010

Guilty plea in Md. apartment building fire

By Washington Post editors

An Emmitsburg man who set fire to his apartment building in a botched suicide attempt has struck a plea deal that avoids an arson conviction.

Forty-three-year-old John Bushman Jr. pleaded guilty Thursday in Frederick to six counts of reckless endangerment for jeopardizing the safety of his neighbors.

He faces up to 30 years in prison. No sentencing date was set.

Bushman told police he set his pillow on fire April 3. As flames spread through the 151-year-old former hotel, he knocked on neighbors’ doors and told them to leave.

Twenty-eight people in 17 apartments were uprooted by the blaze. Some lost pets, and two suffered minor injuries. A pizza shop was also damaged.

Information from: The Frederick (Md.) News-Post

By Washington Post editors  | October 1, 2010; 11:44 AM ET
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety, Maryland  
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