A Maryland woman has been charged with attempted murder after she purportedly set her home on fire while another woman was inside before sitting in a lawn chair to watch it burn.
Gail Metwally, 47, was captured on video watching as the home was overwhelmed by flames in Elkton, approximately 50 miles northeast of Baltimore, about 1.15 pm last Thursday.
Gail Metwally was seen on cell phone footage dressed in a white tank top and sun hat while sitting on the lawn with a book in her lap as she watched as the inferno took hold, and an unknown guy narrates the video as the fire ripped through the home inside minutes while Gail Metwally inadvertently watched from her front lawn.
The man said, ‘She just f**king lit the trash can on fire!’.
‘Oh my fking God, this is not happening right now! She lit the fking house! Oh my God! I cannot actually believe my eyes. I cannot actually believe it, and she’s sitting there just chillin’ — watching the house go up in flames!’
He continues: ‘Like yeah, I’m watching the s–t go down! Oh, my God, this is, this is now turned into a serious, serious thing!’
Eyewitnesses told investigators that they saw Gail Metwally setting multiple fires inside the home before then sitting in the chair, according to a press release from the Office of the State Fire Marshall.
And officials said that after a few minutes, Gail Metwally walked away from the scene.
While the home was on fire, bystanders heard an occupant in a basement window screaming for help and bystanders safely helped her out of the window.
Officials said that a total of four people, including Gail Metwally lived in the home, but two of them were not there.
The woman who was freed from the inferno was named Blenda Holbrook, 52, by WMAR.
Blenda Holbrook’s sister Pat Bernal told the outlet that someone had thrown a garbage can on the stairs obstructing Holbrook’s exit.
Reasons for the arson were not immediately obvious but Bernal told WMAR that Gail Metwally had recently returned to living in the Cherry Lane residence after being confined elsewhere for mental health problems.
The outlet reported that repeated pleas to authorities in recent months to address her continuing behavioural problems had gone ignored, and Bernal said that her sister nearly burned to death in the house.
And it’s difficult to watch the callousness of the offence that was so brazen, and not to have at least a whisper of a voice in your head that questions if actual demons and evil exist in our world.
To do something like this, you have to be psychologically unstable, and this woman urgently needs psychiatric help and has needed it for some time, and whilst she will probably get a prison sentence, she really does need to be committed to the psychiatric hospital for a proper evaluation, and a place that she may never be freed from.
Perhaps she was looking for a career change, looks like an arsonist may be her calling – I guess it’s one way of getting out of the cleaning, but seriously folks, she’s a threat to society and this must be addressed before she causes loss of life – or maybe it was just a house warming party!