By: HEATHER RAWLYK on September 24, 2010
Original Article: CAPITAL, THE (ANNAPOLIS, MD)

Sept. 24 – County firefighters are investigating a suspicious blaze at a car lot early Wednesday that destroyed a specialty Ford Mustang worth $60,000.

An employee of a cleaning service discovered the Mustang on fire at the Bob Bell Ford auto lot, 7125 Ritchie Highway in Glen Burnie, just before 3 a.m., said J.P. Bishop, president of Bob Bell Ford in Glen Burnie.

Three firefighters and two fire investigators were called to the scene. They found the Saleen Motorsport SMS Mustang, a converted specialty vehicle with higher horsepower than the average Mustang, engulfed in flames, said Division Chief Michael Cox, a county Fire Department spokesman.

It took the crew 15 minutes to extinguish the blaze, Bishop said. The Mustang was destroyed, he said.

The cause of the fire is unknown. The incident is being investigated.

“Although the fire has not been ruled an arson, it does appear to be suspicious,” Cox said.

The Mustang was showcased separately from other vehicles at the front of the lot for passers-by to see from Ritchie Highway, Bishop said. The blaze damaged the front of the lot, where the vehicle was parked. He said other nearby vehicles were sprayed by fire hoses as firefighters extinguished the blaze.

The auto dealership spent yesterday inspecting all vehicles in the vicinity of the fire for damage.

“It doesn’t appear any other cars were tampered with,” Bishop said. “But when they put the fire out on that one vehicle, they sprayed some other ones.”

He is grateful the Mustang was isolated on the lot and other vehicles did not catch fire.

Bishop said the dealership has never experienced a suspicious fire or arson.

The county Fire Department is asking anyone with information to contact investigators on the county’s Arson Tip Line at 410-222-TIPS. Callers may remain anonymous