Two people were killed Sunday night when a fierce fire, described as suspicious in origin, broke out in a garden-style apartment house in Prince George’s County, a county fire spokesman said.

The fire broke out about 7:45 p.m. in a top-floor apartment in a four-story building in the 7600 block of Fontainebleau Drive in the New Carrollton area, said Mark E. Brady, the spokesman.

One of the two victims had apparently jumped 40 feet from the apartment before firefighters arrived, Brady said. He said authorities suspected that the jump caused fatal injuries.

A witness said he saw a woman jump while a man remained on a balcony as flames began to engulf him.

The fire “was billowing out like an inferno,” said the Rev. Timmie Banks of Logos Missionary Baptist Church. But despite the entreaties of those below, the man “wouldn’t jump.”

Flames began to lick at the man’s clothing, Banks said.

“It was horrible, man,” he said. “I don’t ever want to see that again.”

Brady said both victims were adults. He could not immediately confirm their genders, or say where the second victim was found.

He said the fire was largely confined to one apartment, but about 50 families from adjoining apartments were displaced.

He said authorities would investigate the cause.