Three separate fires, including one sparked at a townhome where four adults and a baby were asleep, have been linked to a volunteer firefighter in Prince George's County, Maryland, fire officials say.
Tyree Torney, 19, has been arrested for starting a fire at Suitland High School Feb. 12 while teachers and staff were inside the school, the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department said in release Friday night. Security cameras caught him entering the building.
"Fire investigators identified him and interviewed him, and at that point, he admitted to other fires he had committed," Prince George's County Fire spokesman Mark Brady said.
During the investigation, Torney admitted to causing two other fires in 2017, according to the department.
On June 10, 2017, he sparked a fire at a townhome in Upper Marlboro where his ex-girlfriend, three other adults and an infant were sleeping, fire officials said. The fire quickly spread up the outside of the home and into the attic.
"That's the chief of all cowards," neighbor Pat Milas said. "You have a family in a house, asleep, with a baby, and set the thing on fire. Who would do that?"
Torney admitted to setting a bridge on fire on Stretford Way in Hyattsville in May 2017, the department said.
Torney was a probationary member of the Glen Dale Volunteer Fire Association. Following his arrest, Torney was "removed from all affiliations and operations" with the department, according to the release.
He faces a litany of charges including five counts of attempted first-degree murder.
"Anytime you set fire to an occupied structure at that time in the morning, you're going to get charged with attempted murder without a doubt because you are certainly putting their lives in peril," Brady said.
He's also charged with three counts of first-degree malicious burning, five counts of reckless endangerment, two counts of malicious destruction of property over $1,000 and multiple arson charges.