A man is charged with starting a fire last week in a Charles County, Maryland, home that killed a woman and her 1-year-old daughter, officials said.
Rashawn Cline, 27, and her daughter, Dashawn Cline, 1, were killed by a blaze that consumed a townhome in Waldorf on March 31, the Charles County Sherriff’s Office said Friday.
Vincent Anthony Fisher II, 46, was charged with first-degree arson and murder on Thursday. He lived in the home with his girlfriend, who was the mother and grandmother of the victims killed, officials said.
The fire broke out about 10:30 p.m. at a two-story home on Heathcote Road, just off Huntington Circle, Diane Richardson, a spokesperson for the Charles County Sheriff’s office previously said.
Neighbors called 911 and reported three men fighting outside the house.
Shortly before the blaze, a neighbor heard adults arguing and children crying.
“They were just fussing among each other,” said neighbor Sylvia Toms. She never expected what came next. “The children started crying, ‘Get out, get out.’”
Toms said she went outside and saw the blaze. It didn’t take long for fire to engulf the townhouse, she said.
The Charles County Sheriff’s office said officers responded to the report of a fire and an altercation.
Firefighters found the home completely engulfed in flames, the sheriff’s office said.
Once the blaze was out, firefighters found the woman and infant, who were dead, the sheriff’s office said.
Fisher was arrested immediately after the fire and charged with assaulting another resident in the home, officials said.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled the deaths as homicide as a result of fire. The Office of the State Fire Marshal found evidence that Fisher started the fire on purpose, officials said.
Fisher is being held at the Charles County Detention Center without bond. Anyone with information is asked to contact Charles County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS.
Homeowners Cathy and David Staples visited the house last week to see the damage for themselves. They said they had just rented the property to a woman in January. The Staples fought tears as they spoke about what happened.
“It’s just heartbreaking,” Cathy Staples said.