GAITHERSBURG, Md. — An apartment building fire in Gaithersburg has displaced nearly 20 people from their homes, including children and a few pets, the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service said.
One person has been hospitalized with injuries that were not life-threatening and is being treated for breathing in smoke, according to the county fire department's chief spokesperson Pete Piringer. The Red Cross is assisting the total 17 displaced from four apartments, including nine adults and eight children, he said on Twitter.
The fire happened Monday afternoon on Walker House Road at Montgomery Village, Piringer said. Its cause was electrical, by an outlet and wiring, he tweeted.
The blaze began on a terrace-level apartment in the living room behind a sofa. The cost of the damage at the three-story building was estimated to be $500,000.
Flames had been extending up the complex, Piringer said on Twitter.
Firefighters and rescue crews removed several people with a ladder from the upper floors and also assisted others from the building, Piringer said. Several people were being evaluated after inhaling smoke. They all appeared to be in condition that was not life-threatening.
The blaze was under control by around 5:30 p.m., Piringer said.
He tweeted that the bulk of fire had been knocked down, with "excessive storage conditions in apartments."