11-year-old faces criminal charges for burning down Dollar General in Carroll County

An 11-year-old boy is facing criminal charges because investigators believe he's responsible for a massive fire that tore down a Dollar General in Hampstead.

The boy was identified last weekend by several agencies looking into the matter, including the Office of the State Fire Marshal and the Hampstead Police Department. 

After consulting with the Carroll County State's Attorney's Office, he was charged with first-degree arson and released to his parents. 

On Sept. 3rd, just after 5:00 p.m., the Hampstead Volunteer Fire Company in addition to several other local fire departments, along with Hampstead Police Department, responded to the Dollar General at 834 South Main Street for a reported building fire.

Upon arriving at the scene, officials quickly upgraded the fire to two alarms and requested more help from firefighters from Carroll, Baltimore, and Adams counties. 

It took over one hour to bring the fire under control, however, no injuries were reported.

"I would again like to thank the residents of Carroll County for their support since this devastating fire," State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci said in a statement. "I'd also like to express our gratitude for the assistance of the Hampstead Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives."

The state fire marshal is also using the opportunity to urge parents and caregivers to explain the dangers of fire to children. Dozens of fires are set yearly by juveniles in the state of Maryland. The State Fire Marshal said it's a serious issue.