A man and a woman were slain and the man's Prince George's County apartment was set ablaze early yesterday, police said.

Prince George's police said the bodies were discovered shortly after midnight by firefighters who extinguished a fire at the Cypress Creek apartments in the 5600 block of 16th Avenue in Chillum. Investigators identified the victims as the apartment's resident, Archie E. Childs, 24, and Makeeya A. Johnson, 18, of the 8300 block of Fairhaven Drive in Gaithersburg.

"It became obvious to our investigators, after they arrived at the scene, that foul play was involved," said Cpl. Diane Richardson, a police spokeswoman, who declined to comment on the cause of death. "Right now we have no motive and no suspects."

Richardson said there is no evidence to connect yesterday's slayings to a string of arsons in the region over the past 18 months.

Childs and Johnson were found after several other people were rescued from the fire, said Capt. Chauncey Bowers, a fire department spokesman. Bowers said two adults were rescued from a top-floor apartment, near the residence where the bodies were found. A total of eight adults and seven children from nine apartments were temporarily displaced, he said.

Bowers said firefighters were called to the garden-style apartment building at 12:05 a.m. after someone called police to report a gas leak. He said the fire caused an estimated $5,000 in damages to the building.

Since January, there have been 124 homicides in Prince George's County, just four fewer than the number recorded in all of last year.

Richardson said the bodies were taken to Baltimore for an autopsy.

According to court records, Childs was arrested more than a dozen times in Maryland and Virginia, beginning in 1998. Records show that he was most recently charged in April in Montgomery County with drug possession and theft. The charges were later dropped.

Staff researcher Bobbye Pratt contributed to this report.