Man indicted in 2012 Race Street apartment fire

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Pernell Clanton

CAMBRIDGE — The Office of the State’s Attorney for Dorchester County and the Office of the State Fire Marshal announce that a Grand Jury has Indicted Pernell Clanton, 26, on multiple felony charges stemming from a 2012 Cambridge apartment fire. The indictment is the latest development in a three-year investigation by The Office of the State Fire Marshal, the Office of the State’s Attorney for Dorchester County and the Cambridge Police Department. Clanton was charged on May 11, 2016 with 22 counts of 1st Degree Assault, 7 counts of 1st Degree Arson and 2 counts of 2nd Degree Arson.

The 10:46 p.m. four-alarm blaze at 507 Race St. in Cambridge occurred on Dec. 16, 2012 and took nearly 100 firefighters from approximately 13 fire companies two hours to bring under control. Two firefighters were treated for stress-related injuries at Dorchester General Hospital and released.

The structure contained a thrift store on the first floor with four apartments on the 2nd floor and four apartments on the 3rd floor. Residents of the building were alerted of the fire by working smoke alarms located inside the structure. Twenty-two occupants were transported to area hospitals and treated for non-life threatening injuries received when jumping from 2nd and 3rd floor windows. The structure was considered to be a total loss with damages estimated at $850,000.

The Office of the State’s Attorney for Dorchester County presented the case to the Grand Jury and the indictment was subsequently served by Deputy State Fire Marshals.  Clanton was presented before a Dorchester County Circuit Court Judge where he was committed to the Dorchester County Detention Center with no bond awaiting trial. The defendant is presumed innocent until such time as he is convicted on any and all charges.

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