The person killed in the Sunday morning Capitol Heights house fire is 58-year-old Lisa Herring, close friends said.
"I walked her to the door. We had been drinking. She had been intoxicated. I asked her to come sleep on my couch and she said she wanted to get in her own bed,” said Betty Mills.
She said it happened at around 4:30 a.m. Sunday.
Mills and Isyna Sinclair said both women and the victim were more like sisters and were at a birthday party for Sinclair’s son the night before. When they got back, Mills said she and 58-year-old Lisa Herring said their goodbyes. Then, Mills woke up to banging.
"My son ran in and said, 'Ma' Lisa's house is on fire,’” Mills said. “He said, ‘I kicked the door in, but I can't get in.’”
The Prince George's County Fire Department responded to 911 call for a fire on the 5900 block of Crown Street shortly after 9 a.m. Sunday. Fire officials said the call came from a neighbor who believed someone was still inside the burning home.
On scene, firefighters said the bulk of the fire was inside the rear of the home where a bedroom is located.
"He kicked the side door open and I stepped in but I had to turn back around,” Mills said, describing tense moments before the fire department arrived. “I was calling her and she wasn't answering and I couldn't get to her.”
Friends said Herring was a mother of two and took care of her sick mother at the home. We’re told the victim’s mother is in the hospital and is expected to be released soon.
"She saw good in everybody,” said Mills. Sinclair described her good friend as a “good-hearted person.”
"If you got a friend out there, love them. If you have anybody that you care about, show them love. That's the one good thing I do have to hold onto cause our last words were good words,” Mills added.
The victim’s friends said Herring’s two sons live out of state and were en route to Maryland after they learned of the fatal fire. The Red Cross is assisting at least two other people but it’s not clear if anyone else was inside the home at the time. No one else was injured.
By late Sunday afternoon, a Prince George’s County Fire Spokesperson said there was no working smoke alarm inside the Crown Street home.
An ATF dog and homicide detectives were on scene. Fire officials said this is routine until foul play is ruled out. Investigators will not name the victim until an autopsy is complete.