Firefighter Suffers Serious Burns in Gaithersburg Fire

A resident woke up to a loud pop

By Asha Beh
|  Sunday, Nov 22, 2009  |  Updated 4:05 PM EDT
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Firefighter Suffers Serious Burns in Gaithersburg Fire

NBCWashington

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A firefighter was sent to a local burn center Saturday after suffering first and second degree burns on his hand, forehead and knee from a massive fire in Gaithersburg.

The fire broke out at approximately 3 a.m. at a home on Chelsey Knoll Drive near Montgomery County Airpark. Montgomery County Assistant Fire Chief Scott Graham said one of the residents woke up to a loud pop or bang, went downstairs and saw big flames in the sunroom. He then woke up the other four people who were inside the house at the time and they got "just in the nick of time."

Graham said, that when crews arrived on the scene, the flames had extended into the first and second floor of the home. Firefighters began attacking the flames from the inside, but, "the firefighters were forced then to go to a defensive attack due to the volume of fire in the structure."

The firefighter has been released from the hospital. He won't be able to return to work until the burn on his forehead is healed, which can take anywhere from one week to two months, Graham said.

No one else was injured in the blaze. The cause of the fire has been labeled accidental, due to "catastrophic electrical failure."

The Montgomery County housing division will be looking into whether there's code violations because of 6 adults all renting one single-family home.

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