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Md. woman who escaped fire charged with setting earlier blaze

UPPER MARLBORO — Fire officials say a woman who fled a house fire and was photographed lying on the ground with her dog guarding her has been charged with setting an earlier fire in the same house.

Mark Brady is a spokesman for the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department. He said in a news release Monday that 34-year-old April Newell of Landover Hills has been charged with arson.

Brady says on Dec. 2, Newell was photographed lying, apparently unconscious, in a neighbor’s yard with her pit bull guarding her after Newell fled a fire in her home.

Officials say that while the Office of the Fire Marshal was investigating the blaze, investigators found evidence that an unreported fire had occurred the day before.

Newell was arrested on Dec. 31.