CRIME

Maurice Dews sentenced to 25 years

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A serial arsonist responsible for multiple arsons in the D.C. metro area was sentenced to 25 years in prison Tuesday morning.

This fire, set in the 800 block of of 48th Place NE, sent four firefighters to the hospital. (Photo: WJLA)

Maurice Dews, 27, was arrested in July. He pleaded guilty to five arsons in the D.C. metro area, including one that sent four firefighters to the hospital with serious injuries. One of them, Charles Ryan, spent several months in the hospital after he was burned on over 30 percent of his body.

This serial arsonist endangered human life by setting fire to residences across D.C. and Prince George's County," said U.S. Attorney Ron Machen. "Four brave firefighters were seriously injured because of his destructive, reckless behavior. Our community is safer because Mr. Dews is no longer free to set homes ablaze in the dead of night."

Charging documents alleged that Dews would call 911 to report fires that he set himself in both D.C. and in Maryland. Firefighters then stated that they would see the suspect at the scene of the fire, watching the structure burn.

"Mr. Dews caused life-changing injuries to these firefighters, and destroyed homes in densely populated neighborhoods," said MPD Chief Cathy Lanier. "This sentence won't heal the firefighters' injuries, but we hope that it will cause others to think twice before committing arson in the future."

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