Large Fire Burns Through 3 Rockville Apartment Buildings; Dozens of Families Displaced

About 125 firefighters battled the blaze, which burned three apartment buildings

What to Know

  • A fire spread through three apartment buildings in Rockville, Maryland.
  • Windy and cold weather created complications for about 125 firefighters battling the blaze.
  • No injuries have been reported.

About 60 Rockville, Maryland, residents were displaced Friday after a large fire at an apartment building sent plumes of black smoke billowing into the sky.

Flames engulfed three interconnected apartment buildings at the Fireside Park apartment complex on the 700 block of Monroe Street Friday afternoon.

It appears the fire started accidentally on a balcony and quickly spread, fire officials said. The exact cause is under investigation.

By the time firefighters arrived about 1:30 p.m., the fire had already spread through the second and third floors of one building, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue spokesperson Pete Piringer told News4.

Several residents reported they helped notify neighbors about the danger.

"A tenant came and knocked on my door, slamming on my door, saying there was a fire," another resident said. "I grabbed all my stuff and started knocking on all the doors in my apartment complex, telling everyone to get out."

At least one resident ran outside barefoot and others were seen without coats.

Blustery winds fanned the flames and the fire spread to two other buildings. The building's open attic also allowed flames to spread quickly, Piringer said.

About 125 firefighters were battling the blaze. Temperatures in the 20s also caused some complications, he said.

“We use water to fight fires, and that's turning to ice in some cases," Piringer said.

The building was evacuated and no one reported injuries, Piringer said.

About 60 children and adults were displaced and firefighters rescued many residents' pets, including dogs, cats, a hedgehog, a guinea pig and a fish, Piringer said.

At least one dog suffered minor injuries in the blaze, which began while many people were away from home or at work.

"My main concern right now is my puppy," resident Dominique Currie said.

Displaced families are staying at Richard Montgomery High School for emergency shelter. 

The fire caused about $2 million in damages, according to officials.

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