Mother, Adult Son Killed in Bethesda Fire

The house had no working smoke detectors, a Montgomery County fire department spokesman said

A woman and her adult son were killed on the eve of Thanksgiving in a fire that engulfed their home in Bethesda, Maryland. 

The woman and man were found dead in their house in the 4900 block of Western Avenue. 

The man was WSSC employee John Randolph, the company said in a statement. The woman was his mother, Inga.

"I'm just kind of numb," said Michael Randolph, the son and brother of the victims.

He said he is thankful for the times he did have with his brother and mother.

"Nobody can take our memories," he said. "You know, material things can be lost and can burn up, be gone, but we had many good times as a family."

"John was a beloved member of the WSSC family who worked in the Accounting Division for over 26 years," WSSC said. 


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Fire officials did not immediately identify the two victims but said their next of kin had been notified. 

Firefighters were called to the house at about 1 a.m. Wednesday. A neighbor called 911 to report that the home across the street was fully engulfed in flames. 

The victims were found when firefighters searched the home. 

Neighbors said they believed the woman was in her 90s and her son was in his 60s. 

"The sweetest people ever. There's nothing bad to say. I've known him forever," neighbor Bobby Gonzalez said. 

The house had no working smoke detectors, a Montgomery County fire department spokesman said. One smoke detector had no battery in it. Another was still in the box, uninstalled. 

The victims are the county's first and second residential fire deaths of the year. 

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