CUMBERLAND — A fire early Thursday that destroyed a single-story home on Williams Road is the same location where police conducted a drug raid and made an arrest just hours earlier, according to the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office.
“I know it was the same location,” Lt. Israel Sibley said early Thursday afternoon.
Herbert A. Williams Jr. lived at the home at 12316 Williams. The 40-year-old was arrested there Wednesday evening following an operation conducted by the sheriff’s office and the Cumberland Police Emergency Response Team.
Williams was charged with numerous felony firearm and drug distribution charges before he was jailed without bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.
Police, who said they’d received numerous complaints about suspected drug trafficking at the home, seized more than two dozen handguns, several rifles, ammunition and an unspecified amount of heroin packaged for resale, according to the sheriff’s office.
The fire was reported about 2 a.m. Thursday.
First-arriving volunteer units found heavy fire at the rear of the structure and smoke pushing out from the front of the dwelling, according to a Facebook post by the District 16 Volunteer Fire Department.
Three dogs died in the blaze.
About 35 volunteer firefighters from District 16, Baltimore Pike, Bedford Road, Mount Savage, Corriganville, Bowman’s Addition, Wiley Ford and Patterson Creek responded to the scene along with the Allegany County Department of Emergency Services.
Fire units were on the scene for three hours.
The Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office estimated damage to the home owned by Martha J. Collins at $73,000.
Investigators said a neighbor discovered the fire, which started in the kitchen area. The cause remains under investigation.