1 dead after crash, fire in Montgomery Co. commercial building

One person is dead after a crash started a fire that tore through multiple businesses in Damascus, Maryland, late Sunday night.

Montgomery County firefighters were called to a commercial building in the 9800 block of Main Street around 11 p.m. Sunday after a vehicle sped into a storefront, sparking a blaze that spread to the surrounding businesses.

Fire department spokesperson Pete Piringer said a limousine company, restaurant and spiritual adviser were among the businesses impacted.

A second alarm was called to bring in additional firefighting resources. Around 80 fire personnel responded to the scene, including units from Frederick and Carroll counties.

Subfreezing temperatures made matters worse, Piringer said, with overnight lows in the mid 20s causing surrounding roads to ice over from the water used for firefighting efforts. Salt and sand trucks were requested to help manage the icy conditions.

The fire caused over $650,000 in damages. The identity of the driver involved had not been made public as of Monday morning, and the circumstances surrounding the crash are still under investigation.

The WTOP Traffic Center reports closures on Main Street and Ridge Road were lifted around 5 a.m. Monday. Several of the affected businesses remain closed.

Below is a map of the area:

WTOP’s Alejandro Alvarez contributed to this report.

Andrew Alsbrooks

Andrew Alsbrooks is an Associate Producer at WTOP. Prior to joining WTOP, Andrew worked for NBC Washington and he currently works at NBC Sports Washington from time to time. Finding the “why” in every story is what drives him to put his best foot forward on any topic that faces him.

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