Fire Causes Evacuation of Gaithersburg Apartment Building; 12 Residents Displaced

Discarded smoking materials considered the likely cause


Via Pete Piringer/Twitter

A Gaithersburg apartment building was evacuated Monday afternoon after a fire broke out on a second-story balcony and spread into the structure, a Montgomery County fire department spokesman said.

No residents were injured, but about a dozen were displaced, according to Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service spokesman Pete Piringer. One firefighter was evaluated for a minor injury to his hand.

At about 1:30 p.m., firefighters arrived at Sawyer Flats complex off Rio Boulevard near the Rio Washingtonian Center to investigate a report of smoke coming from an apartment building. They found smoke coming from several floors, Piringer said in a recorded media message.

Piringer said the fire was liked sparked by discarded smoking materials and the cause was ruled accidental. The flames had spread into the walls from a balcony, which was near a furnace closet. It caused about $150,000 in damage.

 The two-alarm fire drew about 85 firefighters before it was extinguished.  

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