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Fire Rips Through Germantown House

A Germantown home was destroyed by fire Thursday night, a flamed ripped through the roof of the fire, and dangerous conditions inside the structure forced Montgomery County firefighters to fight the flames from the exterior of the house.

Shortly before 9:00 pm on Thursday, Greg Wilson, a volunteer firefighter with Station 14 was heading home to Poolesville from the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Academy, on Snouffer School Road in Gaithersburg, after completing his Fire Two class examination when he came across a smoky area in the 10400 block of Brink Road in Germantown.

“I noticed a light haze of something as I was driving,” said Wilson, who is a junior at Poolesville High School. “At first I thought it was fog, but then I noticed it had an odor of smoke. So, I turned around and parked on Cog Wheel Way. I watched the smoke keep getting thicker, and I called 911.”

Wilson said at first he thought it could have been somebody’s barbeque grill. “Once Company 34 showed up I walked up the road and saw an orange glow and then I knew that it was the house on fire.”

MCFRS senior spokesman Pete Piringer said the initial call came into the Emergency Call Center at about 9:03 pm on Thursday, Dec. 21, as a result, only one engine, Engine 734 from Station 34 at the Milestone was sent to investigate. Piringer said as firefighters were investigating the fire began roaring through the roof of the single-family ranch style home at 10410 Brink Road. At that point, a full response was called including a Rapid Intervention Team. Since the house was in a non-hydrant area, according to Piringer, three water tankers were dispatched to the location to provide water extinguish the fire.

Firefighters reported that the floor of the house had given way as a result of the fire. As a result, once the heavy fire had been knocked down, fire officials decided to use an exterior attack, due to the dangerous conditions inside the home.

Piringer said that house appeared to be empty at the time of the fire. “There doesn’t appear to be anybody home, but the status of the occupants of the house is unknown. There were no cars in the driveway and didn’t seem to be anyone around.” He also said no injuries were reported.

A water transport station was set up at Sally Ride Elementary School to shuttle water tankers back and forth from the hydrant on Seneca Crossing Drive to the fire ground on Brink Road. More the 65 firefighters were on scene.

Piringer said the cause of the fire was unknown but the Fire Marshall’s office was called, and the cause remains under investigation.

The fire closed Brink Road to traffic in both directions at MCFRS units lined the road making it impassible. MCPD closed Brink Road between Davis Mill Road and Blunt Road for most of the night until the early hours of Friday morning as MCFRS worked putting out hot spots and conducting overhaul on the house.


Top: Flames can be seen roaring through the roof of the house