A man facing murder charges after two people died in a fire set in his New Carrollton apartment was affiliated with a nonprofit group that served the mentally ill, Prince George's County police said Monday.
Police identified the man as Anthony Andre Allain, 44, and said he was affiliated with Guide Program Inc., a behavioral health organization that works with children and adults with psychiatric disabilities.
The door to Mr. Allain’s third-story apartment was barricaded and the fire set about 7:45 p.m. Sunday night during some sort of dispute, which prompted a woman to jump to her death in an effort to escape the flames, authorities said.
“The call came in for a man who had barricaded himself inside an apartment and started a fire,” police spokeswoman Julie Parker said.
Witnesses told police that they saw a man climb down from the balcony and run from the scene of the fire.
Investigators later found Mr. Allain hiding in the basement of a nearby apartment. Inside the apartment, authorities found a man’s body. Neither of the victims have been identified, but police believe they may have also lived in the Fountain Club Apartments complex, though investigators were uncertain if they also lived with Mr. Allain.
One apartment resident, who drove by the charred building Monday to survey the scene, said she was familiar with the man who died but did not know his name.
“He would come over and ask me for cigarettes,” Dolores Clark said. “He never bothered anybody.”
Repair crews and members of the Red Cross remained at the apartment complex, located in the 7600 block of Fontainebleau Drive, on Monday to assist people displaced by the fire and to deal with the wreckage. The county fire department estimates the fire caused approximately $200,000 worth of damage and displaced about 50 residents.
Fire investigators have not released any information on how the fire was set or whether accelerants were used.
Mr. Allain was being held in custody at a D.C. hospital Monday while he was treated for burns that were not considered life-threatening, Ms. Parker said. Once he was released, he was expected to be extradited to Prince George’s County to face two counts of first-degree murder and arson, Ms. Parker said.
A spokeswoman for the group released a statement Monday that said, “We neither own nor lease the residence where the fire took place and are unable to offer any comment on the residents. As public safety authorities have indicated, their investigation into the fire is ongoing and we have no additional details concerning the incident or its cause.”
The entire incident has unnerved residents, who wonder how many others associated with the group live at the apartments and what level of care they receive.
Resident Sirlis Somer-Kull said quite a few apartment residents appear to have mental illnesses.View Entire Story
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Andrea Noble is a crime and public safety reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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