SEAT PLEASANT – Fire Investigators from the Prince George's County Fire Department have ruled the Nov. 2 fire at a vacant house in Seat Pleasant that killed two men arson.
During the investigation, which is continuing, investigators determined the fire was deliberately set on the first floor of the house. The fire was reported around 5:30 a.m.
It only took a few minutes for firefighters from the Prince George's County Chapel Oaks Fire/EMS station 838 to arrive on the scene in the 6200 block of Foot Street near Martin Luther King Highway.
Fire department spokesman Mark Brady said that upon arriving, units encountered heavy fire conditions on all floors of the two-story house.
“It took about 30 minutes to bring the fire under control,” Brady said. “During a search of the house, firefighters found two men on the top floor of the house. Their bodies were so badly burned that investigators had to determine their gender by autopsy.”
It has been determined by the Maryland State Chief Medical Examiner that the two men died of smoke inhalation.
Detectives from the Prince George's County Police Department's homicide unit are now assisting in the investigation, Brady said.
Police will release the identities of the victims after their families have been notified.
Officials said patrol units have been called to the vacant home several times in the past for trespassers and people removing items from the house. The house on Foote Street is one of 150 foreclosed and abandoned homes in Seat Pleasant that homeless people sleep in. Officials from the city of Seat Pleasant are in the process of buying the foreclosed homes and rehabbing them.