10 hospitalized after fire and explosion at Maryland apartment building
▶ Watch Video: Maryland apartment blast injures at least 10
Ten people have been transported to the hospital and several others are unaccounted for after a fire and explosion at a Maryland apartment building Thursday morning, officials said. Three victims are being treated for serious injuries while seven others are in conditions ranging from mild to moderate, according to Montgomery County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein.
Around 10:30 a.m., a fire was reported at the Friendly Garden Apartments in Silver Spring, officials said. Upon arriving at the scene, firefighters were able to pull several people from inside the building before it “became completely consumed by fire” and collapsed, Goldstein said Thursday, according to CBS Baltimore.
An unspecified number of people are unaccounted for, Goldstein said. The blast also displaced about 100 people.
Three of the complex’s six buildings have been declared “unsafe to reoccupy” by fire engineers, Goldstein said. Residents will be allowed to return to collect their belongings once it is deemed safe to do so.
Security fencing was placed around the perimeter Thursday night, and operations will resume again around sunrise Friday, said Pete Piringer, a public information officer with Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services.
An investigation into the cause is underway, and fire officials said they will provide updates as they become available, according to Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich. He said the county has offered mental health support as well as temporary housing to displaced residents.
“Our thoughts are with all those who have been impacted by this horrible and tragic event,” Elrich said.
The Montgomery County Council also extended condolences to those affected by the incident.
“Councilmembers are keeping the residents of the Friendly Garden Apartments and the neighboring community members in our thoughts and prayers after today’s horrific explosion, fire and building collapse,” the council said in a joint statement Thursday. “The Council also stands ready to assist survivors, family members and neighbors by doing everything in our power to provide support during the recovery and rebuilding process.”