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Police Say No Foul Play Suspected Townhouse Fire Death

Montgomery County Police released the name of the deceased man found by firefighters at the site of a house fire in Germantown on Wednesday afternoon, and have said that foul play was in suspected in this case.

Police said the man was 69-year-old Richard Michael Bauer died in his townhouse at 19202 Cross Ridge Drive in Germantown. While autopsy results from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore are still pending, detectives with the Major Crimes division do not believe that no foul play is suspected in Bauer’s death.

MCFRS units were called to a middle-of-the-row townhouse at about noon on Wednesday, Oct. 10 when a neighbor notified a 9-1-1 operator that there was smoke coming from the next unit. Firefighters arrived to find the townhouse, filled with smoke, and the fire extinguished by the building’s sprinkler system. Firefighters discovered the Bauer’s body in the smoke-filled townhouse after they entered to investigate a fire in the kitchen of the unit.

According to MCFRS senior spokesman, Fire Investigators believe the fire was likely caused by a combustible being placed too close to a stove. Fire investigators also noted that hoarding conditions present in the townhouse at the time.

This investigation remains ongoing, and Major Crimes Division detectives urge anyone who may have any information regarding this house fire or this death to contact the Major Crimes Division at 240-773-5070.


Top: A Montgomery County Police car is parked in front of 19202 Cross Ridge Drive and crime scene tape can be seen across the doorway after a dead body was discovered in the townhouse by firefighters.

Next: Police and Fire Investigators working in the 19200 block of Cross Ridge Drive in Germantown after a body was found in townhouse.

Photos by Germantown Pulse