Maryland woman accused of setting house on fire, watching it burn from lawn chair

Gail J. Metwally has been charged with first and second degree attempted murder, first-degree arson, first-degree assault and more.

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A woman in Maryland has been charged with multiple crimes after allegedly setting her house on fire and watching it burn down.

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According to the Maryland State Fire Marshal‘s office, Gail J. Metwally has been charged with first and second degree attempted murder, first-degree arson, first-degree assault, two counts of malicious burning first degree, two counts of malicious destruction of property, and two counts of reckless endangerment. Officials believe she intentionally set the house fire while a person was still inside.

The fire, which happened on April 29 had several witnesses, including one who uploaded footage to social media.

Maryland State Fire Marshal’s office

“She just f**** lit the trash can on fire and dumped it in the f***** laundry room. Dude, she’s about to burn the f**** house down” a witness says in the viral video. The bystander continues, I cannot actually believe my eyes….“I cannot actually believe it. And she’s sitting there, just chilling, watching the house go up in flames.”

The footage pans to the home with visible flames inside and then to the woman sitting in a lawn chair watching the fire grow. As the video continues, a witness is shown helping a woman out of a lower window as the home burns down after she screamed for help.

According to the fire marshal, witnesses reported watching Metwally set multiple fires within the home. Eventually, the 47-year-old walked away from the scene. Once law enforcement arrived on the scene, Cecil County Sheriff’s Office observed her in the area.

She was then detained and transported to the Maryland state police North East Barrack. Deputy state fire marshals conducted an origin and cause investigation and found the fire was purposely set.

The marshal noted a total of four people lived in the home, including the accused arsonist. Two were not home, and the third was the unidentified person still inside when Metwally set the residence ablaze.

maryland house fire
Maryland State Fire Marshal’s office

According to the fire marshal’s office, Metwally is currently being held at the Cecil County Detention Center, pending a District Court Commissioner hearing.

On its website, Jezic & Moyse LLC a Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia-based law firm listed the potential penalties for attempted first-degree murder as punishable by a sentence of up to life in prison. For the charge of attempted second-degree murder, if convicted, the accused could face up to 30 years in prison.

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First-degree arson carries a sentence of up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $50K. According to the law firm, in order to convict a person of first-degree arson, the state must prove that the defendant set fire to or burned at least part of a building or structure and that the fire was set with malicious intent.

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