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Fire Damages Germantown Townhouse, Displaces Family

Tuesday night was a busy night for firefighters as the Montgomery County Fire Rescue responded to two separate multiple-alarm fires within the same hour. One fire destroyed townhouse in Germantown, and the other destroyed an automobile dealership in Burtonsville.

For a few hours on Tuesday night, April 9, into Wednesday morning roughly 75 percent of Montgomery County firefighters were actively engaged in fighting these two fires which collectively did about $2 million in damage to the two locations, according to fire officials.

The Germantown townhouse fire was reported shortly after 11:00 pm at 11304 Appledowre Way in the Brandermill section of Germantown. Fire officials said a passing neighbor reported the fire by calling 911.

The first arriving units arrived to find heavy fire showing at the front of the three-story, middle-of-the-row townhouse, and reports of occupants — including a baby — trapped in the dwelling. Thankfully, those reports were unfounded, and no one was trapped in the building. However, heavy fire in the structure necessitated the call for a second alarm to bring more manpower to the scene, according to fire officials. More than 75 firefighters from a dozen fire stations battled the blaze.

Firefighters were able to quickly knock down the fire at the exterior, according to MCFRS senior spokesman Pete Piringer. The fire had extended inside the townhouse which sustained heavy damage to all three floors, thankfully, the fire did not extend to adjacent units and was contained to just the unit at 11304 Appledowre Way.

According to fire officials, the townhouse was heavily damaged. As a result, a family of four, three adults and one child, has been displaced — the cause has been determined to have been accidental in nature.

The fire originated from the exterior air conditioning/heat pump unit, according to Piringer. The entire building was evacuated, and all occupants were accounted for, one adult female was evaluated by EMS at the scene but was not transported. One firefighter suffered minor injuries. Neighboring units did experience some minor smoke and water damage. Fire officials estimate $150,000 in damages to the structure and another $50,000 to the contents of the townhouse.

The second Montgomery County fire on Tuesday night began about an hour before the Appledowre Way fire at the Sport Honda dealership in the 3200 block of Automobile Boulevard in Burtonsville. MCFRS received a call for an automatic fire alarm at the dealership shortly before 10:00 pm on Tuesday. The call quickly escalated to, what fire officials described as a two-plus-alarm fire.

The dealership suffered more than $1.6 million in damages as the fire ripped through the service bays and spread throughout the entire building. Fire officials said more than 100 firefighters from Montgomery and Prince Georges counties battled the blaze. One firefighter suffered a non-life threatening injury while fighting the fire. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, as firefighters remained on the scene throughout the night extinguishing hot spots in the large commercial structure.

Editors Note: This story was update shortly after it was originally posted.


Top: A fire, which officials believe began as an exterior fire, quickly spread up the front of a three-story townhouse at 11304 Appledowre Way in Germantown on Tuesday night.

Next: Firefighters work to extinguish hot spots in the three-story, middle-of-the-row townhouse in Germantown.

Next: MCFRS EMS personnel evaluate a patient at the scene of the Appledowre Way fire.

Next: The beam of a firefighter’s flashlight can be seen shining up to the roof through the burnt out top of the townhouse.

Video: Fire Chief Scott Goldstein talks about the two major fires which MCFRS had to deal with on Tuesday night.

Next: Firefighters continue to check the interior of the walls at 11304 Appledowre Way for hot spots after a fire ripped through the townhouse.

Next: More than 75 firefighters responded to the townhouse fire in Germantown on Tuesday night.

Photos by Germantown Pulse, video courtesy MCFRS.

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