WASHINGTON – Prince George’s County police report they have arrested a suspect following a suspicious fire in New Carrollton.
Anthony Allain, 44, will be charged with two counts of murder and one count of first-degree arson.
Police say he was arrested Sunday night. Allain was found hiding in the basement of a nearby building.
The apartment served as a therapeutic group home for the mentally ill, neighbors say. The suspect was “associated with the Guide Program Inc.,” a non-profit organization that deals with health disabilities, a police spokesperson says.
They report a dispute started inside the apartment and somebody called the group’s counselor.
Police are looking into other possible calls at the house. At this point they aren’t aware of any.
Officials say there was a verbal alternation between Allain and someone else, but not with either of the victims, Homicide Capt. George Nichols says.
Authorities have confirmed that Allain barricaded himself inside the building before setting the fire, which prevented the two victims from escaping.
No word yet on how the fire started.
EARLIER: Monday – 1/14/2013, 10:07a.m. ET
WASHINGTON – Two people have died in what is being characterized as a “suspicious” apartment fire in Prince George’s County Sunday night.
The fire took place at about 7:45 p.m. at 7602 Fontainbleau Drive in a garden-style apartment complex with three stories in the front and four in the back.
The fire took approximately 15 minutes to put out and firefighters initiated a search for trapped occupants when they arrived.
Prince George’s County Public Information Officer Mark Brady says one deceased adult was found inside the apartment. The other had jumped from the apartment’s top floor, sustaining upper body injuries, and was pronounced dead upon arrival at a trauma center.
No one else was injured in the fire, but about 50 residents in the building and surrounding buildings could be displaced.
Fire officials have not released the names or genders of the victims but say both were adults.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but fire officials say it’s suspicious in nature.
This story has been modified to change the fire’s location from Lanham to New Carrollton.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.
(Copyright 2013 by WTOP and The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)