Breaking News
More () »

'I did it' | Man suffers 3rd degree burns to 52% of his body after woman lights car on fire, court docs say

Police say a man was critically injured and a woman and two children hurt after a woman intentionally set fire to a car in Southeast D.C. on Memorial Day.

WASHINGTON — A woman is in custody after police say she intentionally set fire to a car with adults and children inside, the Metropolitan Police Department said Monday. 

According to tweets from DC Fire and EMS, crews were called to the 3900 block of 4th Street for reports of a vehicle fire just after 6:15 p.m. 

When crews arrived, they noticed a car "engulfed" in flames, where a man, woman and two children were trapped inside. 

The two adults and two children were taken to area hospitals for help. The man sustained third-degree burns to more than 50% of his body, court documents say. The woman suffered burns on her right arm and shoulder. The two children, aged 1 and 2 years old, were taken to an area children's hospital for examination.

Officials say the fire was intentionally started by a woman who is currently in custody. 

According to court documents, a witness told an officer to "go stop her" and pointed in the direction of Valley Avenue SE and 4th Street. The witness was reportedly talking about a woman wearing a white t-shirt, who was later identified as 49-year-old Dianne Williams. 

When officers stopped Williams, she reportedly uttered "I did it." 

A witness told police they saw Williams exit an apartment building on 4th Street and walk up to a red-colored Chevrolet parked outside. The witness claims Williams was holding a cup in her hand, and noticed she made a tossing motion with the cup, before throwing a match or lighter into the car, causing it to immediately go up in flames. 

Another witness corroborated the account, adding that they heard Williams say "that's what you get for calling the police." The witness believes that comment was in reference to an incident that had happened the previous week. 

Williams has been charged with assault with intent to kill. 

WATCH NEXT: Fire forces Virginia restaurant to evacuate on Valentine's Day

The fire forced couples celebrating Valentine's Day at Mike's American Grill out onto the street as the fire burned up to the roof of the building.

WUSA9 is now on Roku and Amazon Fire TVs. Download the apps today for live newscasts and video on demand.

Download the WUSA9 app to get breaking news, weather and important stories at your fingertips.

Sign up for the Get Up DC newsletter: Your forecast. Your commute. Your news.
Sign up for the Capitol Breach email newsletter, delivering the latest breaking news and a roundup of the investigation into the Capitol Riots on January 6, 2021.

Before You Leave, Check This Out