Lightning strike sparks fire at Montgomery County townhouse

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service responded to a house fire in Derwood, Maryland, in the early morning hours of Aug. 4. Two families were displaced but there were no reported injuries. (Courtesy Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service)
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service responded to a house fire in Derwood, Maryland, in the early morning hours of Aug. 4. Two families were displaced but there were no reported injuries. (Courtesy Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service)
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service responded to a house fire in Derwood, Maryland, in the early morning hours of Aug. 4. Two families were displaced but there were no reported injuries. (Courtesy Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service)
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service responded to a house fire in Derwood, Maryland, in the early morning hours of Aug. 4. Two families were displaced but there were no reported injuries.
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service responded to a house fire in Derwood, Maryland, in the early morning hours of Aug. 4. Two families were displaced but there were no reported injuries. (Courtesy Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service)
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service responded to a house fire in Derwood, Maryland, in the early morning hours of Aug. 4. Two families were displaced but there were no reported injuries. (Courtesy Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service)
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Several families were displaced and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth in damages were dealt when a bolt of lightning struck a townhouse in Derwood, Maryland, early Sunday morning.

The Montgomery County Fire Department responded to reports of a fire around 2:45 a.m. on Sunday after lightning struck the roof of a townhouse in the 7700 block of Epsilon Drive, the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service said.

Around 75 firefighters were called out to knock down the blaze. All occupants of the homes — two families with several pets — were accounted for shortly after the fire started. No one was injured.

The bulk of the fire was knocked down a little after 3 a.m.

The fire had worked its way into the second floor of the building by the time the fire department was able to get it under control. Pete Piringer of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue service tweeted that an estimated $300,000 in damage had been done.

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