According to the Prince George’s Fire Department, a man was arrested for setting fire to a North College Park commercial strip center early yesterday morning. Just before 2:00 am, Friday, December 14th, firefighters arrived at the scene of a 1-story commercial structure that several businesses occupy in the 10000 block of Rhode Island Avenue. Units arrived to find fire showing from a middle of the row business. The well-advanced fire extended to attached businesses on both sides before being extinguished.
The building of origin is a mental health facility going by the name of “On Our Own”.
The fire was quickly extinguished and no injuries were reported. Personnel form the Fire/EMS Department Office of the Fire Marshal determined the fire was incendiary in nature. Fire loss was estimated at $250,000.
Shortly after firefighters arrived on the scene a suspect was identified and taken into custody by law enforcement officials.
The suspect, Paul Franklin Willis 3rd (DOB 01/24/1981) of no fixed address, has been charged with starting the fire at 10007 Rhode Island Avenue. Charges include:
Arson- Second Degree (Felony)
Malicious Burning- First Degree (Felony)
Malicious Burning- Second Degree (Misdemeanor)
Reckless Endangerment (Misdemeanor)
Additional charges are pending.