About 20 adults and children were displaced after a massive fire tore through a townhouse in Olney, Maryland, Friday night, fire officials said.
Fire investigators said Saturday the fire started when someone used a flammable liquid to try to restart a fire in the fireplace. The flames went out of control, shot through the roof of the townhouse and spread to neighboring townhomes on Softwood Terrace about 7:15 p.m.
Video from Chopper4 showed huge flames coming from the back of one townhouse. About 100 firefighters battled the two-alarm fire.
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue spokesperson Pete Piringer said one resident had burns and smoke inhalation. Two firefighters had injuries that are not life-threatening.
The fire spread to at least two other neighboring townhouses and video from Piringer showed the townhouse where the fire started was completely destroyed. In all, the fire caused $1.4 million in damage.
"So, I really only had a couple seconds to grab my things and run outside. That's when I noticed the fire from the backyard," one resident told News4. At that point, I just saw everybody banging on doors telling everybody to get out and I just saw a lot of smoke."
Fire crews said the weather conditions were so cold that equipment froze, hampering their efforts.
On Saturday, all of the damage was frozen over due to frigid temperatures.