Wall collapses as firefighters fight Germantown house fire (Video)

WASHINGTON — Eight Montgomery County firefighters were injured when a house collapsed around them as they battled a major fire in Germantown, Maryland, early Monday.

The fire started around 1 a.m. at a home on Churubusco Lane near Waring Station and Middlebrook roads.

Pete Piringer, spokesman with  Montgomery County Fire and Rescue says when fire crews arrived they met with “heavy fire conditions.”

He said  the firefighters were temporarily trapped when a wall gave way. The residents were out of the house before it collapsed.  A may may call went out, signaling the firefighters’ danger.

“The wall, the partial front of the wall, had fallen on the firefighters as they were engaged in firefighting operation,” he told WTOP.

All of the firefighters were accounted for. They were taken to the hospital, where all but one were treated and released. Piringer said one firefighter sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

“It was a pretty catastrophic collapse,” he said, noting that the two adjoining town homes have some fire, smoke and water damage. The fire displaced three families — the house where the fire happened and the neighbors on each side.

The cause of the blaze has not yet been released.

There was some damage that spread to next-door homes, Piringer said, and altogether, three families (18 people and their pets) were displaced.

Fire Chief Scott Goldstein says at total of about 120 personnel were called to the scene of the fire Monday.

Watch a video of the collapse:


See a map of the area below:

Ginger Whitaker and The Associated Press contributed to this report 

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