'Suspicious' house fire in Capitol Heights injures two residents, one firefighter

Photo: courtesy of Billy McNeel, Citizen Services Unit

Two residents and one firefighter were injured in a raging house fire described as “suspicious” in Capitol Heights early Tuesday morning.

Arson investigators are questioning a person of interest in connection with the fire and another smaller fire about a block away.

Five adults and four children escaped the fire before firefighters and medics arrived. They were tended to by paramedics on the scene, said Mark Brady, Prince George’s County Fire spokesperson.

Ketra Evans and her small children were inside. All managed to get out.

“I went back in to get my daughter, I ran out with my son,” she said. “My mother and sisters were still in the house.”

An adult male and one child sustained minor injuries and were transported to an area hospital. A firefighter sustained a laceration to his hand that required a trip to a local hospital, he was treated and released.

Firefighter/Medics from the Chapel Oaks Fire/EMS Station and surrounding communities were alerted around 4:15 a.m. to the fire in the 1400 block of Early Oaks Lane in Capitol Heights. Firefighters arrived and found a single-family home with heavy fire showing.

Firefighters stretched hose lines and initiated an exterior attack on the fire as well as protecting nearby structures.

It required an hour and 15 minutes for 35 firefighters to extinguish the fire.

Felicia Willis lived at the house a block away where a small fire was set on the porch.

“It’s very frightening its devastating. You wake up to a fire,” Willis said.

Both families immediately told authorities the fires may have been set by one of their neighbors, a 29-year-old suspect with a history of arrests for prostitution and indecent exposure with whom they’d been feuding with for weeks.

The 29-year-old man was arrested Monday for a peace order violation and on allegations that he stabbed someone at one of the burned homes.