A May 2 arson blaze destroyed a two-story building housing offices, a vacant apartment, camp store and laundry room at Duncan’s Family Campground in Lothian, Md.
Owner Laurie Duncan said authorities arrested a 15-year-old local girl with a troubled emotional history for setting the fire that caused an estimated $300,000 damage.
“Once last year we know that she tried to set our bathroom on fire, and that’s where this fire started – in the lady’s room,” Duncan said, adding that most of the damage was insured.
Duncan, the second-generation owner of the park 20 miles southeast of Washington, D.C., is still trying to put the pieces back together. “We are operating as normally as possible, but we literally lost everything,” she said. “Right now we have no idea who is coming and when, and how long they are going to stay here.”
To make matters worse, Duncan said a computer backup system for reservations had malfunctioned several days before the fire and hadn’t yet been repaired.
She made a plea on the campground website for campers holding reservations to contact the park.
The 312-site, 28-acre park founded in 1977 by Duncan’s parents, Cindy and Douglas Duncan, had about 80 campers on site at the time of the fire. Duncan had just restocked the store and promotional inventory in preparation for the summer camping season.
“Right now some of my suppliers are starting to help me get back on my feet,” she said. “We are going to turn the snack bar into a temporary office.”