Man charged with attempted murder, setting Potomac house on fire

Man charged with attempted murder, arson at Potomac home

Woman, cats were rescued from fire

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Photo from Pete Piringer via Twitter

A man has been charged with attempted murder and intentionally setting fire to a Potomac home Monday night, according to a Montgomery County Fire & Rescue official.

John O’Donnell, 34, of Bensalem, Pa., was taken into custody by Pennsylvania authorities, Fire & Rescue spokesman Pete Piringer wrote on Twitter Wednesday night.

Piringer wrote that O’Donnell has been charged by Montgomery County fire investigators with attempted first-degree murder, home invasion, first and second-degree arson, first-degree burglary, reckless endangerment and malicious destruction of property.

Piringer did not provide additional details about what happened.

Piringer previously said that firefighters responded to a call for a fire just after 10:30 p.m. Monday at 11132 Korman Drive, which is west of Falls Road. He said fire investigators believed the fire was intentionally set and were investigating the case as an arson.

A woman was rescued from the second floor and had injuries considered not to be life-threatening, Piringer posted on Twitter. Additionally, multiple cats survived the fire.

Piringer wrote Wednesday that O’Donnell has an outstanding arrest warrant from Montgomery County and is being held in Bensalem, northeast of Philadelphia, on a $500,000 cash bond. O’Donnell awaits an extradition hearing, Piringer wrote.

Dan Schere can be reached at

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