Man rescues 6 from Montgomery County fire

SILVER SPRING, Md. (WUSA9) -- A Montgomery County Fire spokesperson said one Silver Spring family is lucky to be alive after a massive fire ripped through their home early Saturday morning.

The spokesperson confirmed the three-story home on the 4000 block of Bennion Rd. did not have working smoke detectors.

Thankfully, Joseph Roberts told WUSA9, his future son-in-law, Esteban Vales, woke to heavy smoke and jumped into action.

"My Mom, he literally carried her out of the house, across the street," said Roberts who later described his mother to be 86-years-old and at home, very sick on hospice. Thanks to Vales, Roberts, his mother, wife, daughter, future son-in-law and a small child all made it out safely. The family's several pets, which include dogs, a cat, rabbit and turtle, also survived. However, the home Roberts said he grew up in, is now a burnt shell.

"It's very sad because I was the first one born in this home in 1949. My folks brought the home. My dad came back from WWII and those homes were built for WWII vets to help them out," he said.

Most of the damage can be easily seen from the back of the home, where authorities believe the fire started. The Montgomery County Fire spokesperson said it looks like an electrical fire may have been to blame but they are still investigating the cause.

Roberts told WUSA9 he has several smoke and carbon monoxide detectors but had removed some of the detectors' batteries with plans to replace them. He told WUSA9 he didn't have enough.

EMS took Roberts' mother to the hospital for smoke inhalation.

Grateful his family is alive, Roberts still looked on the home with tears at what they lost. "Most all family pictures going back generations were inside this house. Just so many things can't be replaced," he said, "There's a part of the heart missing now with this, you know." Roberts turned away after, too emotional to continue speaking on camera.

Members of Montgomery County Fire returned to the same neighborhood Saturday afternoon to visit neighbors and talk about the importance of ensuring your smoke detectors work properly.

The Red Cross is assisting the family.


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