This morning at a little after 5 am, MCFRS Units were dispatched for a reported house fire in the 5900 block of Willow Knoll Drive in Derwood.
First arriving units encountered heavy fire to the rear of a two story, single family home. All occupants were safely out of the home as they awoke to a combination of a working smoke alarm and smoke in the home.
Firefighters quickly initiated an exterior attack to extinguish a large bulk of the fire and then transitioned to interior operations to extinguish the remaining fire located on the first and second floors. The fire was quickly brought under control.
Approximately fifty (50) firefighters were on scene. One adult and two children were displaced as a result of the damage to the home. Firefighters did rescue one guinea pig though another guinea pig unfortunately succumbed to its injuries.
Cause of the fire appears to be misplaced fireplace ashes in a combustible container on the back porch/deck. Damage to the home and contents is estimated to be approximately $300K ($250K to home and $50K to contents).
Later today, firefighters from Gaithersburg Fire Station #28 will return to the neighborhood to go door to door handing out safety tips and offering to check smoke alarms to ensure they are working.
Related Safety Tip: Fireplace and Wood Burning Safety