The Washington Post

Arson charges for D.C. man in multiple vacant house fires

A District man has been charged with arson in three D.C. house fires in recent months, including an April blaze that injured five city firefighters, some of them severely.

Maurice Dews, 26, was arrested Tuesday by a task force of investigators looking into several arson fires at vacant houses in recent months in Maryland and the District, fire department officials said.

Authorities plan to announce the arrest at a press conference Thursday afternoon.

Although Dews, of Northeast Washington, is a suspect in a series of arson fires in the two jursidictions, he was charged Tuesday in only three fires, all in the District, including an April 8 blaze in the 800 block of 48th Place NE.

One of the five firefighters hurt in that blaze, Charles Ryan, suffered burns over roughly 30 percent of his body and has undergone several surgeries. Another, Ramon Hounshell, who also was burned, has required multiple skin graphs.

Firefighters Theodore Douglas, Warren Deavers and Robert Alvarado also were injured while battling the blaze.

Piringer said Dews was in law enforcement custody, awaiting his initial appearance in D.C. Superior Court.

Paul Duggan covers the Metro system and transportation issues for The Washington Post.

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