A cut gas pipe contributed to the fire but the source of ignition remains unknown
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Around 10:30 a.m. this morning, 911 received calls about an explosion at building 2405 of the Friendly Garden Apartments in the Silver Spring area. The explosion sent 14 people to the hospital and displaced about 100 people. Among the 14 hospitalized, three were critically injured while the rest had moderate to minor injuries.
Firefighters arrived and rescued several people from the building before it collapsed completely. Around 150 firefighters were at the scene and helped put out the fire. There are active search efforts underway for residents unaccounted for, including guests and visitors to the complex.
On March 7, Montgomery County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein said that a cut gas pipe contributed to the explosion but was not the source of ignition. The source of ignition is still unknown. The gas pipe was cut when a maintenance worker mistook it for a drainage pipe
Although the fire originated in one apartment building, buildings 2401 and 2411 in the complex were affected and deemed unsafe for people to remain in. At the moment, the buildings have been searched but remain unsafe to inhabit.
The explosion damaged the complex's transformer that supplies electricity to the entire complex. The complex is currently working with Pepco to have the transformer replaced and eventually get the buildings reoccupied.
A donation page has been set up to help those impacted by the fire.
This story has been updated as of March 8, 2022 for more information.
Kathereen Yang. hi! My name is Kathereen and I'm a junior writer. I enjoy reading and running, and I'm currently trying to figure out how to make pizza (without burning it). More »