1,000 without power after electrical fire at Wheaton condo

WHEATON, Md. (WUSA9) -- Red Cross will open a shelter at Blair High School for residents who elected to take advantage, the power is still out at the University Towers in Wheaton. It is likely to remain that way through the night, according to Pete Piringer.

The Red Cross Disaster Relief is on the scene as of Tuesday evening and will assist residents, a shelter will be activated.

About 1,000 people lost power Tuesday after an electrical fire at a high rise in Wheaton.

It happened at University Towers, a 15 story condo located at 1111 University Blvd. This is the second electrical fire there in 72 hours.

Tuesday's fire started around 1:30 p.m. and knocked out electricity. The same thing happened on Sunday.

Both electrical fires were in the basement area, apparently in the boiler room. Montgomery County fire officials say the second fire was next to the site of the first fire.

With a sudden loss of electricity, some residents were trapped inside stopped elevators and had to be rescued.

Some residents self evacuated while others sheltered in place, however those residents could be forced out. Tuesday evening, residents who left the building were sitting outside waiting for the all clear.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue spokesman Pete Piringer says if the building does not have adequate electricity to run the alarm system and the pump for water in case of a fire, they will evacuate residents before nightfall.

Electrical contractors and Pepco crews are on the scene trying to resolve the situation.

There are more than 250 condos in the building.

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