A suspicious fire in Prince George’s County, Maryland, displaced two families early Thursday morning.
“I was sleeping this morning, like 3 or 3:30, and I heard my neighbors screaming there was a fire, we need to get out,” a resident said.
One family had to be rescued from a balcony by firefighters.
A woman who lives in the third-floor apartment where the fire started in Langley Park told firefighters someone broke into her apartment and set the fire, but investigators are questioning her story.
“She had alleged that someone possibly had broken into her apartment and set a fire, and at this point in time, the investigation is not going that direction,” Mark Brady of Prince George’s County Fire and EMS said.
Other residents said that woman is known for odd behavior, including throwing things off her balcony.
“We’ve seen her throwing chairs, table, throwing down water in a bucket, table cover, all type of stuff,” a resident said.
All residents made it out safely, but two cats in the apartment where the fire started died.
The woman who lives there was taken to a hospital for an evaluation.
“The adult female occupant displayed symptoms of altered mental status, which concerned medics, firefighters, as well as police officers that were here,” Brady said.
The investigation will include determining whether the fire was set intentionally.
“There’s a lot of charges, a lot of jail time, a lot fines and penalties that could be associated with that, but again, we need to look at the mental status of the person that may or may not be responsible for setting this fire,” Brady said. “So a lot goes into determination in considering that.”