Woman admits setting, fleeing New Year’s Day fire in Oxon Hill, police say

An Oxon Hill, Maryland, woman intentionally set fire to the bedroom of her apartment, jumped off her balcony, and made no effort to alert the fire department or warn others living in the complex, police said Monday.

The fire caused about $2 million in damages and displaced at least 65 people from the three-story building.

According to charging documents obtained by WTOP, 41-year-old Quiana Taliaferro, after being read her Miranda rights, “provided a statement confessing to intentionally igniting a fire in the bedroom of her apartment” in the 2100 block of Alice Avenue.

Investigator Timothy Ormerod, with the fire marshal’s office, wrote: “After igniting the fire, [Taliaferro] described, in detail, evacuating her apartment by jumping off her balcony and onto the ground below and made no effort to alert — by pulling the fire alarm  — the approximately 30 other occupants of the apartment building, nor did she call 911 to report the fire.”

Taliaferro was charged with arson, a felony, and misdemeanor reckless endangerment. If she’s convicted, the maximum penalty for arson is 30 years, and five years for reckless endangerment.

She is being held without bond until a Jan. 29 preliminary hearing.

Although the charging documents make no mention of a possible motive, they indicate Taliaferro had been released earlier in the day on a personal recognizance bond for the charge of disorderly conduct.

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Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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