PRINCE GEORGES COUNTY

‘We Were Able to Jump': Residents Escape Maryland Apartment Fire

NBC Universal, Inc.

A major fire broke out at an apartment complex in Lanham, Maryland, overnight, causing residents to jump from their homes and displacing 50 to 60 people.

The blaze damaged three of the four buildings in the complex in the 6800 block of Riverdale Road. It started about 1:50 a.m. Friday and went to three alarms, with mutual assistance being called for from Montgomery County.

One young man shared the harrowing experience he and his family had getting out of the building.

"I woke up around 1:46, and I heard my parents screaming that there was a fire," he said. "I tried going to the front of our door and I couldn't see through the smoke. So we were able to jump out from the house through the windows. And I grabbed my phone on the way, and I called 911, and I pulled the fire alarm."

Of course, residents were asleep at that time, so his quick-thinking actions helped get some of these people out of the building.

Two people received minor injuries. One of the man's brothers cut his arm as he broke through the glass, and the other injured his back jumping from the balcony.

That resident said he did not hear smoke detectors. He knows they're there because he said they've gone off when they're cooking, but he said that at this point that he didn't hear him when the fire started.

The fire has been extinguished. There's no word yet on the cause.

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