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Baltimore County Police and Fire News

Official News Blog of Baltimore County police, fire, homeland security and emergency management. Call 911 to report crimes in progress and emergencies.
Date: Dec 5, 2017

Debris and smoke scarred over a large area following the second home explosion in two days, this one in Woodlawn.Update: December 6,  10:45 a.m.

An investigation of this fire and explosion by Baltimore County Police fire investigators is ongoing. At this preliminary stage of the investigation, there are no obvious signs of arson.

The two homes on either side of the house that blew up were rendered uninhabitable. One of these homes suffered fire damage, the other structural damage from the blast. Several other homes were damaged less severely.

Fire crews estimate that 10 adults and three children were displaced as a result of this incident. The Red Cross responded to assist.

No injuries have been reported.

Original release:

Baltimore County Fire crews today responded to the second home explosion in two days when a single-family residence in a Woodlawn neighborhood blew up at 2:12 p.m.

This explosion, in the 7400 block of Remoor Road, 21207, was stronger than yesterday's incident in Baltimore Highlands. That explosion, in the 2800 block of Virginia Ave. 21227, heavily damaged a home and seriously injured one person.

Today's explosion caused no injuries -- no one was inside the house when it exploded -- but it destroyed one home, damaged at least five others and caused a two-alarm fire. The two homes adjacent to the house destroyed by the explosion were the most seriously damaged -- one by fire, the other from the force of the explosion.

An investigation by Baltimore County Police fire investigators is under way. BGE responded to the scene.

BCoFD crews asked residents to shelter in place while they checked other homes on the block for structural damage and the presence of any dangerous gases.

UPDATE (December 5, 2017 3:39 p.m.):

Baltimore County Police have arrested two suspects in the November 27 shooting of a man in Middle River.

Alicia Charline Venzke (26) of the 100 block of Covered Wagon Road, 21220 and Michael George Collett (27) of the 8500 block of Morvan Road, 21234 are both charged with Attempted 1st Degree Murder, 1st Degree Assault, Armed Robbery and Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony/Violent Crime.

Police were initially called to the area of Carroll Island Road for a man suffering from a gunshot wound to the lower body. Police have determined that the shooting occurred just before 9 p.m. in an alley between Day Coach Circle and Eastern Boulevard when Venzke, known to the victim, set him up to be robbed. The victim was walking with Venzke in the alley toward her house when Collett arrived and they announced the robbery. Venzke shot the victim when he attempted to flee, striking him in the leg.

Venzke and Collett fled to her nearby home after the robbery attempt, where they were arrested the following day. Venzke was in possession of a gun at the time of her arrest, and a second gun was recovered in her home during the execution of a search warrant.

Both Venzke and Collett remain held without bail in the Baltimore County Detention Center pending trial.

Alicia Charline Venzke                                                                                  Michael George Collett

Original Release (November 28, 2017 9:34 a.m.):

Police Investigate Call For Gunshot Wound

Baltimore County Police responded to the 100 block of Carroll Island Road, 21220 around 8:56 p.m. last night for a call of a subject suffering from a gunshot wound.

When officers arrived they found a 33-year-old man laying down in a parking lot with a gunshot wound to his lower body. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment but is expected to survive his injuries. The suspect fled the scene prior to police arrival, but they believe this was a targeted crime and continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

Anyone who may have information regarding this incident is asked to contact police at 410-307-2020. This incident remains under investigation by the Baltimore County Police Violent Crimes Unit.

Reward Offered

Metro Crime Stoppers, an organization that is separate from the Baltimore County Police Department and Baltimore County Government, offers rewards for information in connection with felony offenses.

Anonymous tips can be sent to Metro Crime Stoppers by phone, text message or online.

Phone: 1-866-7LOCKUP

Text message: Text "MCS" plus your message to "CRIMES" (274637)

Web tip:

An explosion that heavily damaged a single-family home in Baltimore Highlands yesterday remains under investigation.

Baltimore County Police fire investigators said they have confirmed that the explosion -- more specifically, two separate explosions followed by a large fire -- originated in the basement of the residence in the 2800 block of Virginia Ave., 21227. Investigators have not identified a specific cause.

One patient, a 46-year-old man who was inside the home when the second and more intense of two explosions occurred, remains hospitalized at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in stable condition; he is expected to recover from his injuries.

The man's older brother got out of the house after the first explosion and was evaluated at the scene by BCoFD EMS personnel. He did not require transport to a medical facility.

The call was dispatched at 2:32 p.m. The one-alarm fire caused by the explosions required 20 pieces of fire equipment.

Revised June 27, 2017