A speed camera at Quince Orchard Road and McDonald Chapel Drive in Gaithersburg was set on fire early this morning.
But officials say it is just one of two speed cameras damaged around the county last night.
A second camera, about three miles away in the 15500 block of Germantown Road, was also set ablaze overnight, but investigators are stopping short of saying the two are related.
Capt. Oscar Garcia, a spokesman for the County Fire and Rescue Service, said investigators determined that the Quince Orchard blaze, which was reported shortly after 2am, was intentionally set.
The locked metal door to the camera's control box was pried open when firefighters arrived on the scene, he said. The fire had gone out by the time firefighters arrived.
"We called the fire investigators to determine the cause," he said. "They determined that this was intentionally set."
What, if any, accelerant was used has not been determined, he said.
A second speed camera in the 15500 block of Germantown Road was damaged, apparently by fire.
"There are definitely similarities between the two, and I wouldn't be surprised if they do [connect the two incidents]," Garcia said, but currently the fires have not been definitively linked.
Investigators spent the morning sweeping through the area searching for other cameras that may have been damaged overnight, he said. So far the Quince Orchard and Germantown cameras are the only two found to be damaged.
Each camera sustained about $40,000 in damage, Garcia reported. Both cameras are County owned.
Montgomery County Police spokesman Cpl. Dan Friz said police were not involved in the investigation of the Quince Orchard incident, and he had not heard about the Germantown damage.
Later, he reported that both locations that were damaged are out of service and would remain so for about 48 hours.
Until they are both back online, he said officers will patrol the area carefully and use laser speed guns to ensure motorists are obeying the law.
Speed cameras are used by County and municipal governments with police forces to ticket speeding motorists who are traveling 12 or more miles per hour above the posted speed limit.
A $40 ticket, which is not counted as a moving violation, is mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle.
The program, which was piloted in Montgomery County in 2008 but was approved to go State-wide in 2009, has attracted controversy as a cash-cow for governments which immediately started raking in millions of dollars after their cameras became operational.
Check back later today for more details and pictures of the damaged cameras.