For the second time in as many nights, a fire has destroyed a home in Germantown. Montgomery County Fire Rescue Service units were called to 21331 Emerald Drive in Germantown for the report of smoke in the house at about 5:00 am on Thursday, Jan. 31.
According to MCFRS Senior Spokesman Pete Piringer, the resident returned home early this morning to find smoke coming from the single-family house at the corner of Emerald Drive and Royal Crown Road in the Milestone neighborhood of Germantown and called 9-1-1.
Piringer said investigators believe that fire had been smoldering for hours prior to being discovered. As a result, when firefighters made initial entry into the structure one firefighter fell through the fire-weakened floor of the home. “He fell through the floor up to his waist and was quickly rescued by his fellow firefighters,” said Piringer. The firefighter was transported to a local hospital as a precaution but was later release suffering minor injuries.
Piringer said investigators found a space heater, which was believed to have been left on and unattended in the basement near the origin of the fire on the first floor of the home. The house is a total loss valued at $750,000 by investigators and has been deemed structurally unsound due to the amount of damage done by the fire. The single resident has been displaced.
Firefighters had to battle both the fire and the bitter cold elements while extinguishing the fire. Air temperatures in Germantown were well below freezing at 5 degrees, with wind chill measurements at -4 degrees at 5:00 am while first responders worked. “As you know, we use water to fight fires, and it turns immediately to ice in extreme conditions like this, which made it very hazardous for our personnel.”
Hardly more the 24 hours before this call, firefighters were called another Germantown home in the dead of night as a fire ripped through a home at 20517 Neerwinder Street in the Waters Landing neighborhood. That fire left four people displaced and damaged two adjacent homes.
Photo courtesy MCFRS.