Arson Fire Extensively Damages College Park Recovery Center; 1 Arrested

Prince George's County police arrested a man they say admitted to setting fire to a recovery and wellness center in Maryland that the suspect attended.

The fire erupted at the On Our Own of Prince George's County recovery and wellness center in the 10000 block of Rhode Island Avenue in College Park early Friday morning.

The blaze swept through one level of the building before firefighters extinguished it. Damages are expected to cost about $250,000.

No one was reported injured.

Police arrested 37-year-old Paul Willis, who faces 30 years in prison if convicted.

People who know Willis said he would go the center for assistance, and the arson may have been the result of a dispute with someone he was dating at the center.

“The individual who was involved, he’s disruptive,” said John Kincaid, a CPA with an office in the area.

Kincaid said Willis became a problem for the center and other businesses in the area and it reached its peak Thursday.

“They took him out of here yesterday afternoon to Adventist, I think, Washington Adventist Hospital,” Kincaid said. “When he got out of the hospital, he came back and did this.”

On Our Own Director Matthew Ratz said the crime is a loss for the entire community.

"To take away a resource from people who have so little already, to gut a facility that welcomed everyone — I don't have words," he said. "It's just devastating; it's absolutely devastating." 

On Our Own of Prince George's County is a community-based organization that helps people with mental health and substance abuse issues, it's website says.

The center is looking into the possibility of relocating.

CORRECTION (Dec. 15, 2018, 2:27 p.m. ET): An earlier version of this article misstated the suspect's age.

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