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Posted at 09:07 AM ET, 03/13/2012

25 years for serial arsonist in D.C. cases


D.C. fire investigator Keith Byrd surveys damage from a blaze April 8, 2011, in a house on 48th Place NE that left five firefighters injured. Maurice T. Dews pleaded guilty of setting this and several other fires. (Matt McClain for The Washington Post)

A serial arsonist who pleaded guilty to setting five fires — including one that seriously injured several firefighters — was sentenced to 25 years in prison Tuesday.

Maurice T. Dews, 27, was arrested in July and pleaded guilty in November to charges of arson and assault. In addition to the prison time, he received five years’ probation during a hearing in D.C. Superior Court.

According to charging documents, Dews would call 911 to report fires that he had set at vacant houses in D.C. and Maryland.

The charges against Dews were connected to incidents in the Distrct between 2008 and 2011.

Firefighters reportedly saw the suspect at the scene of the fires, watching the buildings burn.

According to the terms of his plea agreement, Dews was to plead guilty to three other counts of arson Prince George’s County. His sentence for those offenses would be served concurrently with the 25 years delivered Tuesday, authorities said, contingent upon a Maryland judge’s approval.

This item has been updated to correct information about the sentence and the charges in Maryland.

Read more: The Post’s crime coverage

By and  |  09:07 AM ET, 03/13/2012

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