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Condo building explodes, catches fire in Gaithersburg, at least 12 injured


Condo building explodes, catches fire in Gaithersburg, at least 12 injured

12 people injured, including 4 children, fire chief says



Alright. So again, names and spellings since we’re starting again, scott Goldstein Fire chief Montgomery County Fire rescue behind me as assistant chief Willie Parker, lone Montgomery County Police, Gaithersburg City Police chief Mark Soroka Patrick Lace Field, Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services in the sheltering task force and Assistant chief Mark tomato. Montgomery County Police Department. Patrick Lace Field was *** P. I. O. Patrick. Campbell is the person who’s behind me. We’ll be back here at five r. Next cycle will be five o’clock for for our next update since we lost last talked, Washington. Gas has shut off the gas to the buildings. You may have seen the work to my to my left that gas has been isolated and we no longer have *** gas fed or gas supported fire in the building itself. There still is and will be for quite *** period of time, *** smoldering fire in the building, in the debris, the rubble pile as we would call it. There will be small pockets of burning material for several hours or maybe even *** day or more to come until we are able to get to that and put water on that. So you will still see smoke throughout the building victims information. No changes, no changes since we last talked. Okay. If you need me at the end, I will re provide those specifics, the number of buildings remain the same. 8 24 8 26 8 28 and 8 30 One of the activities that fire rescue has engaged with since our 1030 briefing is we have had fire rescue personnel go through or they’re still in the process of going through all of the units in the 700 And 800 block of Quince Orchard Boulevard, all of the even number units which would be on this side of the street behind us. They have gone through all of the common spaces in those units and there is no active leaks, there is no active gas concerns in all of those buildings. The residents as when they come back to this complex tonight And those that are able to reoccupy tonight should feel safe that fire rescue personnel have gone through those units and have checked those units in all common areas. If there’s any questions, any of those residents immediately call 911. Fire rescue will be out to assist them Updates in the last 30. In the last about 45 days we have looked through the call information for this complex as I answered *** question earlier. There was no previous call today and there was no previous calls in the preceding days. He there was one call back in late part of september for *** gas leak in 8 26 no other calls since september 22nd at 8 26. No other calls in 24 or 28 Operations currently on site. As I said, the gas has been shut off structural engineer has arrived this update from our our 1030 version. They have and continue to assess the building and determine how the building can be addressed, meaning how it can be shored how operations can go on around and inside of the building Accountability of the occupants. We talked at 10:30 that we were working, city, city officials, county officials and fire rescue investigators working to identify, can make contact with all of the folks in these buildings. 26 and 28 as our primary. As of now, all of the ox Of 8-8 have been contacted. All of the occupants of 8-8 have been contacted and are accounted for. There is one unit in 8-6 that we still have not made contact with. I said earlier there were six units per building. So that’s one unit of the six and 8 to 6 we have not made contact with and investigators still are working diligently to make contact and identify those occupants location and their safety. One more nugget before I pass the information on to HHS and Patrick. Again, operations will continue for quite some time as we work to stabilize the building, begin, investigative efforts continue to put the fire out so this will not be completed today. It will be *** multiday event. Let me have Patrick come up and talk about the HHS team that’s at work in helping these residents and then we’ll come back with more questions. All right. First my comments are gonna be focused on the human services impact, What we’re gonna do assist the residents, but also what we’re gonna do assist the folks in fund raising funds to assist the residents in um in the next step recovery. Uh My name is Patrick Campbell and the Senior planning Manager for mass care operations. Um Today at three p.m. We will open up *** reception center and *** shelter at the activity center at Borough Park. The address for that is gonna be 506 South Frederick Avenue. And that’s Gaithersburg at that site will offer the opportunity to work with focus on next steps for their housing recovery. Check in food will also continue to provide crisis services. We also have medical staff on board to assist folks with medication and things like that. So that’s gonna be *** critical site for providing ongoing care. Will also continue to provide services just at the community center here on site for fundraising. That is *** huge part of assisting these folks in recovering. Ah the the website for the fundraiser is going to be housed by Montgomery Housing Partners. The web page for that is MHP *** R T N E R S dot org. And then it’s backslash Gaithersburg fire backsplash, yep. So the web pages, Mh Partners period org back slash Gaithersburg Fire, That will be the county’s primary site for fundraising. Uh people often ask us, how much does that fund go towards the residents. 100% of that fund is provided for the residents. Uh, we have *** recovery team that will continue to outreach to the community recovery starts today, but HHS will be with these residents throughout the coming months. Our goal is to work on our short term needs, dealing with their crisis needs and then long term housing solutions for these residents. That’s everything from assisting folks who do have insurance or folks who may not have insurance. And that will be long term assistance. But the best place for any residents to start is to show up at Board park today and check in with our team, any residents who may not be here today, we will work through, reach out to them. We have *** residence list will call them. Um, but you know, HHS is here to support those residents in long term recovery needs. Right. But at this point, I don’t have *** full count. We’re in the middle of doing *** screening because we want to make sure before we give out *** number that we have an accurate number. Um, and sometimes you may have family members visiting, you might have, you know, extended family that’s in tow. So we’re just not 100 per sure on the final number. Yeah, so it’s very common people do subletting some of their condo units. So there’s gonna be some rental units within here, some that are owned. So that’s why sometimes I want to make sure our numbers are correct. Before we say name number. It’s the activity center at Borough Park. Yeah. So it’s spelled B O H R E R. Yeah. And it’s right next to Gaithersburg High School. Yeah, We’ll provide shuttle service as well. We have *** mixture of folks, some folks have cars, they just can’t get to them right now, so we’ll make sure we’ll have *** shuttle service to bring them there and back um depending on how long they need to be. Their meals are also being provided here and also at the activity center. Most likely, yes. Fair to say that dozens of people. That’s correct. So let me let me expand on Bruce’s um number of dozens. So remember we talked about four buildings, six apartments per six units per buildings. That’s 24 units with the potential occupancy using 2 to 3 persons per unit. You know, we could be clearly at 75 50 to 75 people impacted because of the four buildings were still making an assessment on any of the other buildings in the complex. But again that 24 26 28 30 will be displaced for the immediate term and maybe for midterm or more. Bear with me, I’m gonna, I’m gonna start over here because I heard that and then I’m gonna go my right to my left. All right. That you could get count of yours, that one human level building. So of the dime. Right. So let me let me refresh what we said at 10:30 There’s six building. Six units per building based upon the structural damage. All six units and 8-6 are damaged significantly as part of the explosion. The three units on the left portion of 8-8 are also impacted by the structural collapse and the explosion. That’s how we get to nine units. Okay. The remaining units in 828 were searched by fire rescue personnel with confidence that there was nobody in any of the other units in 828 as our team has worked through this, the investigators have made contact with all of the occupants in 828. Again, everybody in 828 is accounted for. There is one unit from 8 to 6 which is unaccounted for. Does that help them clarify that all of the other five units in 8 to 6 are accounted for. Thank you for that. Darcy, yep. What more carmen? So so we we did respond the fire department responded to that event. We are reviewing the information on that. We’ll be able to provide that to. Probably hopefully at our next activity. Okay. I don’t have that information yet, darcy but we will provide that. I’m gonna stay. So indeed as this is is *** very residential but also working class neighborhood. The 8:45 or so in the morning time frame compared to some of our other events being at midnight. Um really plays *** role in our occupancy numbers and our risk. So it has an impact. So yes, I don’t have any information on that. Okay. We’ll make *** note work to come back. No work being done inside of the buildings. No work that I’m aware of, china’s baby that they helped to with his mother to let the building. You have any information about this baby? Okay. So I can. So the question was *** resident talked about *** nearly one year old child that was assisted out of the building by other residents. I don’t have any information about that resident, that person and how they were rescued. Um There was *** *** maintenance crew that used *** ladder to assist somebody off the rear. I mentioned that already and then there was another resident that reportedly jumped from *** rear balcony and was assisted prior to fire department rival by by the maintenance crew or by residents on site. As I outlined earlier of the patients transported, Only four of them were Children and all four of those were in the mild to moderate category of injuries. So I hope that helps answer the information as we have it on on this child’s case. Don’t have any information Stephanie as to what led to this explosion. It’s too early to identify what how where or why? No. As these as as Patrick talked about. These are condos and maybe sublet condos, what we have from the maintenance office is one point of contact and name, that’s what we’re working with. Usually in an apartment situation, the maintenance office knows how many people are, you know on the lease for inside that apartment. We don’t have that here, which makes *** different different approach. I think we um talk about september when you talk to them for something. They called back and front and center. We’re hearing everybody process from the elders and my response is Megan started in public administration. So I’m gonna ask you to repeat that Stephanie so I can capture it. No, I do not have any information as to what the complex response was. We have pulled our information for the September 22 incident and we were reviewing that and as I said, we will hopefully our next session have more information on that. I think you had *** tie up to that. So 911 calls were received and I would use the word of deluge of 911 calls were received right about that. 8 40 out. 8:40 a.m. Timeframe reporting explosions here. Those calls included an explosion at the elementary school, the pool house and apartment buildings. So all three of these different types of structures were included in the 911 callers narrative as to what or where the incident was When our crews arrived. We did find an apartment building which is building 826 with clear signs of building explosion building collapse as well as significant fire in that building and also in the adjacent building, which was 8-8 in any type of these explosions. And some of you have been with us for the other events we’ve had, you do have *** debris field, you do have, you know, evidence in front and around the building and that is indeed the case. Here. You see signs of the building, parts of the building, you know, in the parking lot in the lawn behind the building. As I said, the crews were faced with patients residents needing to be treated as well as an active fire as well as actively collapsing or further decaying building and the need to search the remaining parts of the building. So that’s *** good summary of what we found when we arrived just before nine a.m. No natural gas is not *** suspicion. What identified is, is that there was *** gas fed fire present to us once we got here and that we had to then control the gas, shut that fire to turn that fire off. Is it involved? That will be part of our investigative process. So, thank you. And that was *** question that came from the resident group at 10 30 when we were here before. I want to repeat what we said fire rescue crews have completed or still or still are in the process of checking all of the buildings in the seven and 800 block even which are these apartments behind me on this side of queen Georgia boulevard. Check all of those buildings. Check all of the common areas of those buildings to determine and To identify that there is no active leaks, no active gas in those buildings that is underway and will be completed very shortly. If not already anybody who comes home in this complex today, anybody in any complex throughout the D. C. region today tonight tomorrow next week. Who smells gas? Their first priority is to get out of the building. Their second priority is to then contact 911. Contact 911 not their utility provider and stay outside until after the emergency services are on site. Okay so I did say we were out here on September 22. I did answer Stephanie or Darcy and said that we have not talked to management and we have not interacted with them about their response to prior gas concerns. That information will be more forthcoming Bruce. Okay. That question was over here and I’m sorry we skipped over that question earlier. So so there was work being done on the exterior of the rear of the building by by *** company. We are aware of that. We have talked to those folks. Those folks were *** witness is very helpful witnesses to the the explosion itself. I believe they were involved with the rescues and the assistance of the those people there. I will identify that there is no initial concern that that work is related to *** leak or to this explosion and I use the word initial concerns at this time Bruce, it’s still too early to be able to rule out or rule in circumstances. Okay, I’m gonna ask this gentleman here and then I’ll walk my way back around. Um so I know you don’t have *** lot of information. How do we follow up on this and if there is something leading to *** leak investigation, is there something that the people here can do to follow *** complaint or who should we go to notify about this? So, as it relates to *** helping of this investigation, if you have information about this event or or or information about prior events here, please see one of the fire rescue or police personnel on the scene and we’ll take your information for that. Bear with me, I’m talking about this event or pry leak events here. Please reach out to *** fire rescue or or police official here. Let me get *** better answer for that broad question for the resident interaction between HHS and the police and we’ll make sure we provide that to you at the next briefing because yes, we are in the Gaithersburg city, in Gaithersburg City is very much in and their city activities, no burn injuries were reported, no smoke inhalations. Nobody was taken to Medstar for smoke inhalation or burn injuries. I said they were taken to Montgomery County hospitals for mild to moderate injuries. So when I said 45 days darcy that’s an approximation to roughly whatever september 22nd is from now. So that maybe just *** little bit shy or more than that. But we went back *** ways and that was the only one we found september 22nd that dealt with 8 26 or anything else in that 800 block of quince orchard boulevard. Okay, alright. I’m gonna Stephanie. This is cool people that we’ve been here on the website. What’s different for me? I don’t believe there’s anything anything different at this time. Um We we’ve had different complexes. We’ve had different dynamics. We talked about this before in this general region that the D. C. Region, There’s roughly *** building explosion once *** year throughout this region. Um Montgomery County throughout, you know, my roughly 30 plus years, it’s usually every five or six years we have, you know, *** gas related or building explosion that that’s gas, you know um involved. But to say different between this one and linville, nothing that I can think of at the moment. Morning. Right. I don’t I don’t have concerns about the incidents being in our equity impact areas. No as you said the members in these these residential communities are uh challenged in some of their, you know job as well as residential arrangements and they are very much higher or deeply impacted by these events than they may be in other areas with different population base. One of the things that is extraordinarily strong about Montgomery County is how the county, as *** collaborative team comes to assist the residents with re housing with assistance processes. And that’s because of the team of folks from nonprofits as well as county government that are here to assist these residents.

Condo building explodes, catches fire in Gaithersburg, at least 12 injured

12 people injured, including 4 children, fire chief says

A condo building exploded and caught fire Wednesday morning in Gaithersburg, injuring as many as 12 people, including four children.Video above: 2 p.m. news conference update from Montgomery County officialsMontgomery County Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Pete Piringer said a fire and explosion were reported around 8:40 a.m. at the Potomac Oaks condominium complex in the 800 block of Quince Orchard Boulevard. A second alarm was called as heavy fires were discovered upon arrival.”The building has sustained a significant explosion that resulted in a collapse,” Montgomery County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein said. The fire chief said as many as 12 people were injured — 10 were taken to hospitals, two of which were adults taken to a trauma center, four were adults and four were children who suffered “mild to moderate” injuries. Two others were treated at the scene and declined to be taken to a hospital.At 2 p.m., the fire chief said there was still a smoldering fire in the building and that Washington Gas shut off the gas supply to the affected buildings. The fire chief said there were no previous calls to this complex in the past week. The last call for a gas leak was made on Sept. 22.The fire chief said all of the occupants of 828 have been accounted for and contacted. There remains one unit in 826 for which officials have yet to make contact with the occupant.Residents repeatedly told 11 News the incident “felt like a shockwave.””It was bad, just bad,” said Lilian Mendez, a resident who was among the witnesses who described feeling the explosion and fire.Firefighters evacuated neighboring buildings after the collapse, and the Red Cross is assisting displaced residents, Goldstein said. The Red Cross issued a statement, saying its trained volunteers are providing essential services that include food, water, financial resources, emotional support and the replacement of medications, according to need.Video below: LIVE update from 11 News at NoonMore than 100 firefighters and rescue personnel responded to the scene.Gov. Larry Hogan tweeted shortly before 11 a.m., saying: “The State Fire Marshal and the Maryland State Police Rockville Barrack have offered assistance with the response to this explosion.”U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland, posted a statement on Facebook, saying: “I’m thinking of everyone impacted by the fire in Gaithersburg and grateful to our first responders on the scene. My office is in close contact with local officials and have offered them — and the families who are impacted — any assistance we can provide.”This story will be updated.Video below: SkyTeam 11 shows the scene

A condo building exploded and caught fire Wednesday morning in Gaithersburg, injuring as many as 12 people, including four children.

Video above: 2 p.m. news conference update from Montgomery County officials

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Pete Piringer said a fire and explosion were reported around 8:40 a.m. at the Potomac Oaks condominium complex in the 800 block of Quince Orchard Boulevard. A second alarm was called as heavy fires were discovered upon arrival.

“The building has sustained a significant explosion that resulted in a collapse,” Montgomery County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein said.

The fire chief said as many as 12 people were injured — 10 were taken to hospitals, two of which were adults taken to a trauma center, four were adults and four were children who suffered “mild to moderate” injuries. Two others were treated at the scene and declined to be taken to a hospital.

At 2 p.m., the fire chief said there was still a smoldering fire in the building and that Washington Gas shut off the gas supply to the affected buildings. The fire chief said there were no previous calls to this complex in the past week. The last call for a gas leak was made on Sept. 22.

The fire chief said all of the occupants of 828 have been accounted for and contacted. There remains one unit in 826 for which officials have yet to make contact with the occupant.

Residents repeatedly told 11 News the incident “felt like a shockwave.”

“It was bad, just bad,” said Lilian Mendez, a resident who was among the witnesses who described feeling the explosion and fire.

Firefighters evacuated neighboring buildings after the collapse, and the Red Cross is assisting displaced residents, Goldstein said. The Red Cross issued a statement, saying its trained volunteers are providing essential services that include food, water, financial resources, emotional support and the replacement of medications, according to need.

Video below: LIVE update from 11 News at Noon

More than 100 firefighters and rescue personnel responded to the scene.

Gov. Larry Hogan tweeted shortly before 11 a.m., saying: “The State Fire Marshal and the Maryland State Police Rockville Barrack have offered assistance with the response to this explosion.”

U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland, posted a statement on Facebook, saying: “I’m thinking of everyone impacted by the fire in Gaithersburg and grateful to our first responders on the scene. My office is in close contact with local officials and have offered them — and the families who are impacted — any assistance we can provide.”

This story will be updated.

Video below: SkyTeam 11 shows the scene

gaithersburg explosion and fire

Gaithersburg apartment explosion

Pete Piringer/Montgomery County Fire Department

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