No working detector at scene of deadly fire

ROCKVILLE, Md. -- For the second time in about a week Montgomery County is investigating a fatal fire.

Last Wednesday a 4-year-old boy died in an apartment fire in Gaithersburg. Thursday morning a 53-year-old man died when flames swept though his Rockville Condo.

The fire chief says he had smoke detector but it wasn't working.

"My heart is broken, because I don't have him with me, I don't have my son with me, " said Marge Mercurio.

Mercurio is reeling from the death of her youngest son after hearing the unthinkable news this morning. She last spoke with her son last night and saw him on Monday. She remembers the last thing he said to her.

"He said, Ma, I love you. I want to thank you for everything you have done for me. He gave me a kiss on the cheek and said take care of yourself. I don't want anything to happen to you," she said.

The fire started in Mike Mercurio's condo in the 5200 block of Crossfield Court in Rockville. Flames erupted around 12:30 Thursday morning at the Bethesda Park Condominiums where the 53-year-old Mercurio served as former president of the board of directors.

Montgomery County Fire Chief Steve Lohr says Mercurio had a Non-working smoke detector even though it was hardwired with a battery back up. Lohr says the detector was at least 10 years old.

"We want everyone, no matter if you live in Montgomery County, to go home and check your smoke detector to make sure it's working," said Lohr.

For now, the two cherish the last family photo taken with Mike, 4 years ago at a relative's wedding.

The family also just learned firefighters were able to recover Mike's GW class ring and a medallion passed on from his late father. Meanwhile, investigators are still working on finding out the cause of the fire.


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