Woman set her house on fire with person inside, then sat in lawn chair and watched

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CECIL COUNTY, MD – Deputy State Fire Marshals charged an Elkton woman with multiple arson-related charges, including attempted murder, after intentionally setting her home on fire while another person was inside.

On Thursday, April 29, 2021, at approximately 1:15 p.m., Singerly Fire Company and surrounding fire departments responded to the unit block of Cherry Lane in Elkton for a reported dwelling fire.

Witnesses reported observing a woman, later identified as Gail J. Metwally, 47, setting multiple fires within the home and then sitting in a chair on the front lawn, where she watched the fire engulf the home. After a few minutes, Metwally walked away from the scene. While the home was on fire, witnesses heard an occupant in a basement window yelling for help. Bystanders safely assisted her out the window. While responding to the scene, Cecil County Sheriff’s Office observed Metwally in the area, where she was detained and transported to the Maryland State Police North East Barrack.

Deputy State Fire Marshals responded and conducted an origin and cause investigation and concluded the fire was incendiary (arson) in nature. A total of 4 people resided in the home, including Metwally. Two were not home, while the third was still inside when Metwally committed the arson.


Metwally has been charged with 1st and 2nd Degree Attempted Murder, 1st Degree Arson, 1st Degree Assault, two counts of Malicious Burning 1st Degree, two counts of Malicious Destruction of Property, and two counts of Reckless Endangerment.

Metwally is currently being held at the Cecil County Detention Center, pending a District Court Commissioner hearing.

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