At least 1,100 displaced after fire in Bethesda high-rise

WASHINGTON — Firefighters helped thousands of residents evacuate around 550 units after a transformer fire set off alarms in a Bethesda high-rise Saturday morning.

Residents of smoke-affected units in the Promenade Apartments on Pooks Hill Road were evacuated while others sheltered in place.

Some 1,100 to 1,500 people have been displaced from the complex’s North Tower and won’t be able to reoccupy, officials say.

Eighteen people were taken to hospitals for treatment of smoke-related injuries, along with one firefighter who suffered heat exhaustion. Eleven people were taken to the hospital for pre-existing medical conditions

The fire started in the electrical room, according to Montgomery County Fire and Rescue, and smoke was seen on multiple floors. The fire is caused approximately $1 million worth of damage.

Firefighters helped evacuate those in units impacted by smoke. (Courtesy Montgomery County Fire and Rescue) (Courtesy Montgomery County Fire and Rescue)
The apartment complex’s North Tower has no power. (Courtesy Montgomery County Fire and Rescue) (Courtesy Montgomery County Fire and Rescue)
Officials say the fire originated in the electrical room. (Courtesy Montgomery County Fire and Rescue) (Courtesy Montgomery County Fire and Rescue)
Approximately $1 million worth of damage has been done. (Courtesy Montgomery County Fire and Rescue)
Approximately $1 million worth of damage has been done. (Courtesy Montgomery County Fire and Rescue) (Courtesy Montgomery County Fire and Rescue)
Firefighters evacuated residents due to dangerous levels of smoke. (Courtesy David Futrowsky) (Courtesy David Futrowsky)
Smoke from a transformer fire was seen on upper levels. (WTOP/Bruce Alan)
Smoke from a transformer fire was seen on upper levels. (WTOP/Bruce Alan) (WTOP/Bruce Alan)
The fire set off multiple alarms. (Courtesy David Futrowsky)
The fire set off multiple alarms. (Courtesy David Futrowsky) (Courtesy David Futrowsky)
The fire occurred at a high-rise apartment building on Pooks Hill Road. (WTOP/Bruce Alan)
The fire occurred at a high-rise apartment building on Pooks Hill Road. (WTOP/Bruce Alan) (WTOP/Bruce Alan)
Multiple units assisted with evacuations. (Courtesy David Futrowsky)
Multiple units assisted with evacuations. (Courtesy David Futrowsky) (Courtesy David Futrowsky)
Firefighters helped residents evacuate due to the amount of smoke. (WTOP/Bruce Alan)
Firefighters helped residents evacuate due to the amount of smoke. (WTOP/Bruce Alan) (WTOP/Bruce Alan)
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Approximately $1 million worth of damage has been done. (Courtesy Montgomery County Fire and Rescue)
Smoke from a transformer fire was seen on upper levels. (WTOP/Bruce Alan)
The fire set off multiple alarms. (Courtesy David Futrowsky)
The fire occurred at a high-rise apartment building on Pooks Hill Road. (WTOP/Bruce Alan)
Multiple units assisted with evacuations. (Courtesy David Futrowsky)
Firefighters helped residents evacuate due to the amount of smoke. (WTOP/Bruce Alan)

Below is a map of the area where the building is located.


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