Power strips plugged into each other cause Gaithersburg high-rise fire

Two people are in the hospital and others had to be evacuated after a fire in one of the oldest high-rises in Maryland.

The fire started after someone plugged three power strips into each other and then plugged them into a lightweight extension cord, causing $30,000 in damage, according to Montgomery County Fire and Rescue spokesman Pete Piringer.

The fire at the Washingtonian in the Rio area of Gaithersburg, Maryland, started in a master bedroom of one of the apartments around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The bedroom where the fire started had what firefighters described as “hoarding conditions.”

A man “assisted his mother to safety and then unsuccessfully attempted to extinguish the fire himself,” Piringer said.

The two people who were transported to the hospital lived in the apartment where the fire began. They were transported to a burn unit in D.C., Piringer said.

Piringer said 75 to 80 firefighters responded to the fire on the 6th floor of the 27-story apartment building.

He said that a number of people in the building who had mobility issues had to be helped out.

Several residents have been displaced.

The location of the fire can be seen below:

WTOP’s Colleen Kelleher and Valerie Bonk contributed to this story.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2020 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up