30 homes damaged in large apartment fire in Rockville


Fire investigators now believe the cause of the fire was a faulty HVAC unit that burned through the roof, causing $1.5 million in damage.

ROCKVILLE, Md. – Montgomery County Firefighters responded to a three-alarm fire in Rockville on Monday morning, that left more than 100 residents looking for a new place to live, just weeks before the start of the holiday season.

Fire crews were called to a three-story apartment building in the 800 block of College Parkway just before 9 a.m. When crews arrived, they found the building in intense fire conditions and called a second and third alarm to get more firefighters to the scene. The fire rumbled through the attic, eventually spreading to a second building and leaving about 30 buildings engulfed in smoke and flames or flooded with water.

Firefighters said two residents were injured and taken to hospital, but said both were expected to survive. Neighbors say firefighters had to punch through the window of one of the victims here to get him out as the fire raged above him, while another victim had his face full of burning embers.

A total of 100 firefighters took part in the fight against the fire. Police and firefighters escorted shells shocked the elderly to safety. The fire spread just as many people were getting ready for work.

“Someone was shouting, ‘Fire, fire, fire,’ said Nick Jury, whose apartment was badly damaged. “All that smoke. And when I came out, the top of this unit was on fire. engulfed in fire.”

Brent Platt and his girlfriend watched firefighters spend hours clearing hot spots.

“It sucks because I had a lot in there, and it’s a shame it’s gone,” Platt said. “But at the end of the day, I’m happy to be here with my family. My girlfriend is here and I have a place to stay.”

The Red Cross ensures that all victims have accommodation.

Fire investigators now believe the cause of the fire was a faulty HVAC unit that burned through the roof above apartment 303, with damage estimated at $1.5 million.

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