Washington, D.C., Neighborhood on Edge After Mysterious Mansion Fire Kills 4: 'Everyone Is Scared'
"Why hurt a nice family and the lady who works for them?" a housekeeper in the upscale neighborhood tells PEOPLE
As police continue to investigate the Washington, D.C., house fire that claimed the lives of a CEO, his wife, their 10-year-old son and a housekeeper, neighbors are terrified that they may be next.
“I’m scared,” a housekeeper in the upscale Woodley Park neighborhood tells PEOPLE. “Everyone is scared.”
“The family were nice people,” she added. “They never hurt anyone. Who would do this? Why hurt a nice family and the lady who works for them?”
Savvas Savopoulos, the 46-year-old CEO of American Iron Works, his wife Amy, their son Philip and their housekeeper Veralicia Figueroa were all found dead inside their $4.5 million home on Thursday. Police said at least three of the victims had suffered stab wounds or blunt force injuries prior to the fire being set, indicating the blaze was no accident.
And sources familiar with the investigation told NBC Washington that the four were likely taken captive on Wednesday evening. They were “bound and threatened,” according to the report, until Savopoulos gave the killers what they wanted sometime on Thursday afternoon.
Authorities have released little information in the case. The only clue seems to be the family’s blue Porsche, which was found torched in the parking lot of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Lanham, Maryland.
Just a short distance away, a camera captured footage of the one person of interest in the case, a hooded individual carrying a bucket. That person has not yet been found – and that has the Savopouloses’ neighbors concerned.
“It scares me,” adds the housekeeper, who asked not to be identified. “If it could happen to them, what’s to say we are not next?
“This is a good neighborhood,” she says. “We think we are safe. Now this.”
She couldn’t hold back her tears as she spoke about the events of last Thursday. “The way I found out was the sirens,” she says. “The fire trucks came. It was bad, having a fire. Then I found out the people died. Everyone in the house. Even the little boy.”
The Savopouloses had two daughters, Abigail and Katerina, in addition to their son. The girls were away at boarding school at the time of the fire and are now thought to be staying with their grandparents.
Vance Wilson, headmaster of St. Albans School in Washington, D.C., which Philip attended, released a statement following his death. “We extend our deepest condolences and offer our prayers to Philip’s sisters, grandparents, and extended family and friends,” he said. “The school will continue to do everything we can to support our students and their families during this most difficult time.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to pay for Figueroa’s funeral. A funeral for the three Savopouloses is scheduled for June 1.
• Reporting by SUSAN KEATING and CHRISTINE PELISEK
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