Smoking and Oxygen Cause Two-Alarm Fire in Silver Spring Apartment Building

One man was injured and taken to a hospital


Firefighters respond to an apartment fire on Schuyler Road.

Via Pete Piringer/Twitter

A two-alarm fire broke out in a Silver Spring apartment building Tuesday night, which fire officials believe was the result of a man smoking in his room while on oxygen.

The man, in his late 60s, was believed to be smoking in his apartment. He was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries related to smoke inhalation, Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service spokesman Pete Piringer said in a voice-mail message.

Other people were evaluated at the scene, and about three families have been displaced.

Firefighters arrived at the 100 block of Schuyler Road in Silver Spring before 9 p.m. and found heavy fire coming from the back of a four-story apartment building, Piringer said.

Because of the size of the flame, the firefighters called for additional responders and a second alarm, he said. Nearly 100 firefighters were on the scene and extinguished the fire in about 15 minutes.

Piringer said officials believe the cause of the fire was an accidental result of smoking in a first-floor apartment. There was a delay in reporting the fire as the occupant of the apartment might have initially been overwhelmed by the flames, but he soon called, 911, Piringer said.

The fire resulted in about $100,000 in damage, largely limited to the first-floor apartment, though there was water, smoke and fire damage extending to other apartments and the roof, Piringer said.

The American Red Cross was called in to assist the displace families, he said.

Smoke rises above the apartment building (above) and interior damage. Via Pete Piringer/Twitter

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