MCFRS News Release

Rockville Man Arrested for Early Morning Arson

Domestic Violence Charges May be Pending

A 42 year-old Rockville man was arrested Friday morning, November 3, 2006 for setting a fire at the Ambassador Apartments located at 2715 University West, in Wheaton. John Williams, of Monroe Street, in Rockville was arrested at his home after setting a fire in the hallway of the 7th floor apartment in Wheaton.

At about 6:45 a.m. on Friday, November 3, 2006 police and fire units were sent for the report of fire reported out on the 7th floor. Montgomery County Fire and Explosive Investigators know that Mr. Williams was at the building to visit an ex-acquaintance. Initially, unable to gain entrance, it is believed that he used an ‘ignitable liquid’ and started a fire in the hallway on and near an apartment door. The resident called 911 and then opened the door in an attempt to extinguish the fire.

Mr. Williams was then apparently able to enter the apartment uninvited. He used the phone to call police and responding fire units to say they were not needed. He then fled the area. Nonetheless, fire and police personnel proceeded to the scene. Fire and Explosive Investigators were summoned and evidence was collected from the scene along with witness accounts that led Fire Investigators and police to Mr. Williams’s home in Rockville. He was arrested.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS), Fire and Explosive Investigators have charged John Williams with: one (1) county of First Degree Arson, one (1) count of Malicious Burning in the First Degree and one (1) count of Reckless Endangerment. Domestic Violence charges may also apply and are pending.

NOTE: Last Saturday, October 28, 2006, hundreds of residents from the Ambassador Apartments, located at 2715 University Boulevard West were displaced due to a leaking roof from a storm and heavy rains. At the time all utilities were being shut off during emergency repairs. Over 100 stayed at a nearby shelter at the John F. Kennedy High School. Most residents were back in their apartments by Monday as repairs are continuing to be made.