On December 5th, a two-alarm fire broke out at the home of Judge Liam O'Grady, who President Bush appointed to the Eastern District court in Alexandria in 2007. Neighbors say his son, home at the time, called 911.
When it happened, the fire department told residents they saw no signs of foul play. But investigators have now concluded it was not an accident.
"Fire investigators have determined that the fire was intentionally set," says Dan Schmidt, Fairfax Fire spokesman. "The case is still open."
According to investigators, the fire originated in a second floor bedroom. No one suffered any injuries but it caused an estimated $300,000 in damage. Restoration work has already begun. And there is hope the news would not impact the judge's ability to do his job.
Neighbors reacted with sympathy and surprise.
"That's pretty terrible to have a judge targeted like that," says neighbor Chris Lewis.
"It's shocking that that would occur here," says another neighbor, Jen Lunde.
No suspects have been arrested in the case.