Gail Metwally, 47, intentionally set multiple fires in a house in Elkton, Maryland on Thursday afternoon
She calmly walked out of the home to the front lawn, while someone trapped inside screamed for help
Video posted online shows her reading a book, watching it burn from a chair on the front lawn
Neighbors rescued the woman who was trapped in the basement
Metwally is charged with first- and second-degree attempted murder, first-degree arson, first-degree assault, malicious burning, malicious destruction of property and reckless endangerment
A Maryland woman accused of setting her house on fire watched it burn from a chair on the front lawn as another resident screamed for help inside the home, according to fire officials and a video purported to show the wild scene.
The suspect, 47-year-old Gail J. Metwally, eventually walked away while neighbors rescued the person who was trapped in the basement, authorities said. A possible motive and her relationship to the other person were not immediately clear.
Metwally is charged with multiple arson-related charges, including attempted murder, after intentionally setting her home on fire while another person was inside, according to Deputy State Fire Marshals
An investigation by the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s office found that Metwally set multiple fires within the home in Elkton, near the border with Delaware, and walked to the front lawn Thursday afternoon. She then sat in a chair and watched the blaze for a few minutes before fleeing the scene, according to the agency.
While the fire continued to grow, neighbors heard a woman yelling from a basement and helped her escape through a window, authorities said. Two more people live in the house, but they were not inside at the time, the fire marshal’s office said in a news release.
Woman in Maryland sets a house on fire while someone is still inside pic.twitter.com/ocRVni4lc9— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) May 1, 2021
Video of the arson scene was uploaded on twitter by a witness
A video shared on social media appears to show a neighbor narrating the incident as it happened, with the woman calmly sitting in her chair with a book in her hands.
“I cannot actually believe my eyes,” said the person behind the camera. “And she’s sitting there just chilling, watching the house go up in flames. Oh my god!”
As firefighters worked to put out the blaze moments later, deputies with the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office found the suspect in the area and took her into custody without further incident. She was charged with first- and second-degree attempted murder, first-degree arson, first-degree assault, malicious burning, malicious destruction of property and reckless endangerment.
Metwally is being held at the Cecil County Detention Center in Maryland, pending a court hearing.