Gaithersburg condo building explodes, catches fire

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A condo building exploded and caught fire Wednesday morning in Gaithersburg, injuring as many as 12 people, including four children.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.Shortly before 10 a.m., Piringer said the bulk of the fire has since been put out and the primary searches are completed while secondary searches were underway.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.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

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

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.

Shortly before 10 a.m., Piringer said the bulk of the fire has since been put out and the primary searches are completed while secondary searches were underway.

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.

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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