Twelve people were hurt, including four children, in a “catastrophic explosion” and fire inside an apartment complex in Maryland on Wednesday.
According to WUSA 9, Montgomery County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein stated during a press conference that firefighters in Gaithersburg responded to reports at about 8:40 a.m. regarding an explosion and fire that resulted in a partial building collapse. The fire received at least 100 firefighters’ assistance and was primarily put out by 9:30 a.m.
While four children and two other adults were taken to hospitals with minor injuries, two adults were taken to the hospital in critical condition. Two other people had their injuries attended to on the spot. There have been no reported fatalities.
According to Goldstein, “the building has had a massive explosion leading to a structural collapse.” When the fire first started, some neighbours rushed toward the blaze to rescue their neighbours from the blazing structure.
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Three injured persons, including a woman and her child, escaped through the smoke, according to Linson Matute Mendez, who spoke to WUSA 9. According to Goldstein, residents of the 24 housing units have been forced to relocate owing to the fire’s devastation and are currently taking refuge at Bohrer Park. One family was still missing Wednesday night, and it wasn’t known if they were home when the explosion occurred.
Awful news in Gaithersburg this morning. Our thoughts are with those injured and we wish them a speedy recovery. We are incredibly grateful to our first responders from @mcfrs and @mcpnews, who responded quickly and prevented further damage and injury. https://t.co/Kbiaq8ZIBC
— Rep. David Trone (@RepDavidTrone) November 16, 2022
Some firemen stayed on the spot overnight to ensure the fires didn’t flare up again. Fire authorities think natural gas as fuel for a fire in the complex’s basement, but it’s unclear whether it also contributed to the explosion.
Maintenance personnel used a painter’s ladder to rescue two persons from the building, including one on a rear balcony before the firefighters arrived. According to Goldstein, maintenance personnel reportedly used a painter’s ladder to rescue a homeowner from a balcony before the firefighters arrived. He added that Red Cross personnel were on the spot to help the refugees.
“It’s too soon to draw any judgments. Too soon to speculate on what caused this, according to Goldstein. Other nearby buildings have also been examined, and there are no gas leak issues. The American Red Cross, Homeland Security, and the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management were also present.