Silver Spring, MD July 12, 2009 - At approximately 7:35 PM last night units from Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, and Prince Georges County, responded to 8830 Piney Branch Rd. (Pineway Towers Condominiums) in Silver Spring for a reported building fire with people trapped.
Units arrived on the scene to find a residential hi-rise building with fire and toxic smoke showing from the 12th floor. Battalion Chief Officer 701 arrived to the rear of the building and reported seeing fire from the top floor and requested a second alarm worth of equipment and personnel to the scene. An aggressive interior attack and search and rescue operations were initiated. First arriving fire fighters rescued at least a dozen occupants from the 12th floor to safer areas on the floors below.
Upon arriving on the scene, the Fire Investigators were able to identify and interview the residents from the fire apartment. Four occupants were home at the time of the fire and they advised that the smoke alarms sounded and when they investigated they found smoke coming from a rear bedroom. The four exited the apartment and called 911.
The investigation revealed that a number of electronic components were plugged into an undersized extension cord in the room of origin. An apparent failure of the electrical cord occurred which was the cause of the fire.
One Firefighter was transported due to dehydration and one civilian was injured from falling debris. Red Cross was on the scene assisting with the numerous people that were displaced from their apartments
LOCATION: 8830 Piney Branch Rd (Pineway Towers Condominiums)
ORIGIN/CAUSE: Bedroom / Accidental
INJURY: Two – 1 F/F, 1 Civilian
DISPLACEMENT: Approx - 80
Smoke alarm and building alarms activated
Photo provided by FEI Junghans