WASHINGTON — Three firefighters were injured in the wake of a fire that began after a car crashed into the side of a strip mall in Owings, Maryland, in the early hours of Wednesday.
The Calvert County Sheriff’s Office says the car crashed into Bright Center West, on Southern Maryland Boulevard, shortly after midnight.
Chief Bill Rector, of the Dunkirk Volunteer Fire Department, says that two firefighters were hurt while battling the blaze; they were treated and released. Another was hurt during the cleanup of the building and is in stable condition.
The state fire marshal’s report says that the fire took 45 minutes for 65 firefighters to control, and that $750,000 of damages were done to the building and items inside it, mostly at Floral Expressions and Owings Cleaners; the other businesses in the strip mall suffered smoke damage.
Floral Expressions Owner Aut Fuller says the shop is a total loss, but that he plans to rebuild. In the mean time, Fuller says the business will relocate temporarily to another location.
“I don’t want brides to freak out,” Fuller says.
The driver, identified by NBC Washington as Vincent Troy, 32, of Upper Marlboro, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence.
WTOP’s Michelle Basch contributed to this report.