ESSEX — David Boyd Thompson, 74, of Essex, set fire to his apartment on Franklin Avenue before committing suicide on Aug. 9, according to a Baltimore County Government press release.

Baltimore County Fire Department and Baltimore County Police Department were dispatched just after 11 p.m. to the Essex Co-Op Apartments for a fire alarm system that activated. First-arriving responders did not see indications of fire or smoke, and after searching the building, they saw a small fire with thick smoke in an eighth-floor unit. The sprinkler system was triggered and was extinguishing the fire, the press release states.

At 11:27 p.m., while firefighters were connecting to hose outlets on the ground floor, Thompson jumped from the 12th floor of the highrise. He landed about two feet from a fire captain. EMS personnel provided urgent medical care, but Thompson died due to fatal injuries.

Investigators determined that Thompson, who was scheduled to be evicted after being told he was not allowed to smoke in the building, set the fire in his apartment before committing suicide. They found many points of origin in the unit, as well as empty bottles of charcoal fluid and a lighter.

The one-alarm fire was confined to the single apartment, and no residents were displaced.

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