1 dead, over 40 residents displaced after fire at Leisure World of Maryland

A woman has died and dozens have been displaced after a fire tore through an apartment building at Leisure World of Maryland early Saturday morning, damaging around 30 residences.

Around 1:30 a.m. Saturday, Montgomery County firefighters were dispatched to a burning apartment building at 15210 Elkridge Way within Leisure World — a resort-style, gated development near Norbeck reserved for residents age 55 and above.

First responders witnessed flames coming from the second and third floor of the three-story, garden style apartment block. Montgomery County Fire and EMS spokesman Pete Piringer said alarms were ringing and an evacuation was underway as crews arrived on scene.

Describing the damage as “significant” with “likely dozens displaced” in a Twitter post, Piringer said the capital region Red Cross is assisting impacted homeowners with relocation to a hotel.

Initially, Montgomery County Fire reported no injuries, but shortly after 1 p.m. Saturday, Piringer said a missing resident had been found dead in her apartment.

Approximately 30 units were damaged, displacing 40 to 50 residents, MCFRS spokesman Jason Blake later said. Investigators are working to determine the fire’s cause and point of origin.

Over 100 Montgomery County firefighters responded to battle the three-alarm blaze.

Founded in the 1960s, Leisure World describes itself as “Montgomery County’s premiere choice for active adult living,” with more than 8,000 residents aged 55 or older across 5,660 homes in 29 individually-governed housing communities.

Below is a map of the area:

WTOP’s Zeke Hartner contributed to this report.

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital reporter and editor in June 2018. He is a writer and photojournalist focusing on politics, political activism and national affairs, with recent multimedia contributions to Reuters, MSNBC and PBS.

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