A 63-year-old man has died following a two-alarm apartment fire in Silver Spring Tuesday morning.
Edward Mager of Silver Spring died Tuesday afternoon, authorities reported.
The fire broke out shortly before 7 a.m. in an apartment on the top floor of the Montgomery Towers Apartments at 415 Silver Spring Avenue.
The apartment where the fire began was entirely engulfed in flames, and the fire and smoke became so intense that people in other apartments couldn't get out. Firefighters brought in ladder trucks and rescued several people from balconies on the building.
More than 100 firefighters battled the blaze at the height of the fire, the Montgomery County fire department said.
"There was an old lady stuck on the ledge to the right of the apartment that was burning," said a neighbor, "and then there was a lady and her son stuck... but they had the ladders come and pull them down."
Mager had suffered life-threatening burns, reported News4's Megan McGrath. Firefighters found him unconscious outside his apartment in the hallway on the sixth floor.
Authorities say "several" others, including a six-year-old, were taken to local hospitals with various injuries. The child is expected to be fine, McGrath reported.
The fire damaged several units at the building. Many residents were forced from their homes with just the clothes on their backs, many still in robes or sleepwear.
"When I went out on the balcony, I could see smoke pouring out on the sixth floor, and so that's when we started knocking on all the doors," said a resident.
The Red Cross and building management are helping displaced residents, authorities said.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but it appears to be accidental. Smoke detectors and alarms in the home were working, authorities said.
The Montgomery County Fire Department will be back in the neighborhood later Tuesday evening to check other residents' smoke detectors, McGrath said.
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