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Fire destroys Cambridge house

CAMBRIDGE — A fire fully engulfed and destroyed a house in the early morning hours of Sunday, Dec. 27, in Cambridge.

The family was not present at the time of the fire, and one firefighter sustained a minor injury while battling the blaze, according to Rescue Fire Company Chief Adam Pritchett.

The house, located at 708 Douglas Street in Cambridge, was fully involved by the time firefighters arrived at the two story wood frame residence.

The fire in the single family structure was discovered by a neighbor at 3:22 a.m., according to the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

The blaze did an estimated $80,000 damage to the structure and $5,000 to contents and required 90 minutes for 25 firefighters to control.

The cause of the fire and point of origin are still under investigation. Anyone with information on this fire is asked to call Deputy State Fire Marshals at 410-713-3780.

Christmas Eve rainstorm damages roads

CAMBRIDGE — Heavy rains on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, damaged roads in Dorchester County causing wash outs and washing away a mill pond dam.

Palmers Mill Road was closed to traffic the following day as a large amount of water was still running over the road and other section of the road had a section of shoulder washed away. Acting County Manager Donna Lane said that repairs were made to Palmers Mill Road and Milligantown Road and that both roads are now open.

The dam that creates the Palmers Mill Pond suffered a total failure as rain washed away a portion of the earthen structure and drained most of the pond.

Choptank Riverkeeper Matt Pluta reported three and a half inches of rain fell in Cambridge during the storm.

Precipitation continued in a different form the following day on Christmas, as snowflakes fell across the county without accumulating.

Violent week ends a violent year

CAMBRIDGE — Two shootings and a bank robbery on Christmas week punctuated the end of a violent year in Cambridge. One of the incidents occurred Christmas night, Dec. 25, around 9:30 p.m. in the 600 block of Pine Street, An altercation in front of the Elks Lodge resulted in the suspect who was on the ground pulling out a gun and shooting the victim, according to Capt. Justin Todd with the Cambridge Police Department. The victim sustained a gunshot wound to the abdomen and was airlifted to Shock Trauma, where he was still listed in critical condition on Monday, Dec. 28.

Crime reports provided by police show that by the end of October, multiple categories of violent crimes had seen a significant increase over 2018 and 2019.

Police released more information about the Dec. 22 bank robbery of 1880 Bank on High Street in Cambridge. According to police, 18-year-old Ty’Mereah Camper of Cambridge, 38-year-old Darcel Hudson, Jr., of Salisbury and a 17-year-old male juvenile were apprehended after the robbery and were charged with armed robbery, armed robbery conspiracy and theft over $100,000. Hudson was also charged with 1st and 2nd degree assault and reckless endangerment. All three suspects are currently being held without bond, and an additional arrest is still expected in this incident. Police said that during the incident, four suspects forced an employee into the vault, obtained a large amount of currency, and fled on foot to the West End neighborhood where the three suspects currently in custody were arrested.

Police are still searching for the suspect in a murder on Oct. 24, when they say 22-year-old Ryshon Kelly stabbed Roderick Russ, Jr., to death. “It’s two months now, and this young guy is on the run,” said Russ’s mother, Jeanne Elliott. “Who is to say he won’t do this to someone else?” Elliott said of her son’s suspected killer.

Elliott said she feels compelled to seek justice for her son: “As a mother, you want to do whatever you can for your kids, even though he [Russ] is gone.”

Todd said that while he can not comment on some details of specific investigations, police are making progress and hope to put closure to the open cases. “Like for many 2020 has had its challenges. We have worked since March to deal with the hurdles that COVID-19 has bought us. With that being said it has bought its challenges crime wise as well with our aggressive assaults and juvenile crimes being up as in years past,” said Todd.

“We as a department are looking forward to the new year with the hopes to bring more officers on the force and get our number of officers up to where myself and the administration feel it should be. We will also be looking forward to the continued efforts of working with the community to better relationships. I feel we have come a long with and adding officers and being able to focus more on community policing events will build that bond even stronger. I feel that the leaders of the city from all departments have the same goal in mind and that is to make the City of Cambridge a better place to live and visit. We look forward to continuing to assist in making that happen,” Todd concluded.

Complaints can be phoned in to CPD anonymously by calling 410-228-3784.