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Police: Maryland man torched 2 York County barns, has 'history' with owners

Crews are battling a fire involving two barns in York County.

A Maryland man will be charged with arson and related offenses for allegedly torching two York County barns.

David Sterner, 64, of Lineboro, will also be charged with risking a catastrophe, reckless endangerment and criminal mischief.

Northern York County Regional Police said they have obtained an arrest warrant for Sterner, who is in custody in Carroll County, Maryland, for allegedly making a terroristic threat against someone in that county.

A group talks at a barn located in the 5000 block of Lineboro Road in Manhiem Township which burned early Friday, March 27, 2020. A barn at an adjacent property also was destroyed at approximately the same time. Bill Kalina photo

Police said Sterner started the fires at the two Manheim Township barns between 1 and 1:50 a.m. Friday and that he has "a history" with the owners of the farms, who are brothers.

"He was captured on two separate video surveillance cameras in close proximity to the fire scenes," police wrote.

Capt. Doug Dorer, of the Lineboro Volunteer Fire Department in Maryland, said no one was injured in the barn fires, which occurred in the area of the 5000 block of Lineboro Road, near the Maryland state line.

The fires caused an estimated $500,000 in damage, although firefighters were able to save 35 head of cattle that were inside one of the burning barns.

“The fires were on adjacent properties,” Dorer said. “We got alerted to the initial barn fire just outside of town around 2 a.m., and we were battling it when someone turned around and noticed the other barn on fire about 20 minutes later.

“Both were pretty much a total loss,” Dorer said.

A firefighter walks past a barn located in the 5000 block of Lineboro Road in Manhiem Township which burned early Friday, March 27, 2020. A barn at an adjacent property also was destroyed at approximately the same time. Bill Kalina photo

Dorer said the first fire involved a historical barn that had some hay and farm machinery inside. The second barn held the cattle.

A state police fire marshal, Lineboro Volunteer Fire department and the Carroll County Sheriff's Office assisted in the investigation, police said.

Anyone with information about the arsons is asked to call Northern Regional Police at 717-467-TELL, or email tips to tips@nycrpd.org.