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State fire marshal honoring investigators who cracked western Maryland arson ring

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HAGERSTOWN, Maryland — The Office of the State Fire Marshal is honoring law enforcement officers whose work led to the convictions of eight people for setting 42 fires in western Maryland last year.

The awards ceremony Tuesday in Hagerstown recognizes members of the fire marshal's office, members of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and officers from Washington and Frederick counties.

Deputy State Fire Marshal Edward Ernst, who was recently named "Deputy State Fire Marshal of the Year," led the investigation into the fires in western Maryland. The gang was led by 22-year-old Tyler Murray of Williamsport, who got a 15-year prison sentence. Prosecutors say his fascination with flames escalated from bonfires to torching cars and buildings for fun.

The last of the young adult defendants was sentenced last week.

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