MCFRS News Release

Takoma Park Woman Arrested for Arson

Domestic Violence Charges May be Pending

A 30 year-old Takoma Park woman was arrested on Sunday, November 12, 2006 for Arson for allegedly starting a fire in an apartment building on Schuyler Road, in Silver Spring. Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS), Fire and Explosive Investigators believe Mamie N. Karbongo, age 30, of the 600 block of Houston Avenue, Takoma Park was responsible for starting a fire in her boyfriend’s apartment. She was arrested at her residence.

Around 2 p.m. on Sunday, November 12, 2006 units from the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service were notified of a ‘fire reported out’ call at 110 Schuyler Road, in Silver Spring. Firefighters found a pile of clothing had been deliberately set on fire and that the apartment had been vandalized.

Fire Investigator’s believe Mamie N. Karbongo forced her way into a first floor apartment and set some clothing on fire and fled the apartment. A roommate witnessed this activity and extinguished the fire. Fire damage was minimal. It is believed that Ms. Karbongo returned a short time later and vandalized some electronic appliances and other personal belongings causing significant damage. No one was injured.

MCFRS Fire and Explosive Investigators located Ms. Karbongo at her residence on Houston Avenue, in Takoma Park. She was questioned and arrested. A child located at the apartment was turned over to the care of Child Protective Services. Montgomery County Police patrol officers assisted.

Mamie N. Karbongo, of Takoma Park was charged by Montgomery County Fire and Explosive Investigators with one (1) count of Attempted Arson – First Degree, one (1) count Malicious Burning – First Degree, one count (1) Burglary – First Degree, one (1) count Reckless Endangerment, and one (1) count of Malicious Destruction of property (with damage value of over $500). Other charges are pending.

She appeared before the District Court Commissioner. She is being held at the Montgomery County Detention Center on $1 million dollar bond.

NOTE: Recently a 25-year-old Germantown woman who set her apartment building on fire in December 2005 was sentenced to 15 years in prison -- a punishment three times longer than the one sought by prosecutors. On December 18, 2005, about 75 occupants from thirty-six apartment units at the Oak Hill Apartments in Germantown were displaced by the fire when she tried to burn her boyfriend's clothes and set the building on fire. Roxanna Benavides, age 25, of the 20200 block of Halethorpe Lane, Germantown was arrested for intentionally starting a fire in a bedroom of first floor apartment.