Police, fire officials investigating after Germantown fire leaves woman dead

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Montgomery County police are also conducting a death investigation.

Firefighters outside a Germantown home
A woman has died after reports of a fire in a Germantown, Maryland, home on Thursday, May 21, 2020.

The fire happened around 4:30 a.m. in a townhouse on Birdseye Terrace near Middlebrook Road.

Police and fire officials in Montgomery County, Maryland, are investigating after a woman died in an early-morning house fire in Germantown.

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Firefighters outside a Germantown home

Police and fire officials in Montgomery County, Maryland, are investigating after a woman died in an early-morning house fire in Germantown.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Montgomery County police are also conducting a death investigation.

The fire happened around 4:30 a.m. in a townhouse on Birdseye Terrace near Middlebrook Road.

Initially, reports were that neighbors spotted smoke and called 911. However, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Pete Piringer said Thursday afternoon via Twitter that a neighbor actually called police about another issue, and it was police who noticed smoke and called firefighters.

“We arrived on the scene with a townhouse with smoke showing from the roof area,” Piringer told WTOP earlier.

Firefighters put the fire out quickly, but the woman was found unresponsive in the second floor bedroom.

Piringer said it is believed the fire started there near the mattress and the wall.

The woman was not identified. It is unclear if anyone else was in the home.

There were no working smoke alarms in the town house, Piringer said. The fire damage was estimated at about $60,000.

Piringer said firefighters will return to the neighborhood Thursday afternoon asking residents to check their smoke alarms.

WTOP’s Nick Iannelli reported from Germantown. WTOP’s Jack Moore also contributed to this report. 

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