Several hurt in Bethesda apartment fire

At least five people are in the hospital after a fire broke out at an apartment complex in Bethesda, Maryland, Friday afternoon.

The fire started just after 4 p.m. on the second floor of an apartment building on 10300 Westlake Drive near Montgomery Mall, according to Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Pete Piringer.

One firefighter and at least four residents were taken to the hospital for nonlife-threatening injuries. All of them are expected to survive.

Montgomery County firefighters arrived to find heavy smoke on the second floor. A precautionary second alarm calling for more EMS personnel to assist in evacuating residents was placed soon after.

The building did not have a sprinkler system or hose connection in its stairwells.

Some residents sought refuge on balconies, where they were helped down by firefighters.

Piringer said some of those residents were treated at the scene for injuries related to smoke inhalation, as many were trapped in their homes due to the heavy smoke.

The fire is now under control but there are still heavy smoke conditions in the building. Westlake Drive is closed between Democracy Boulevard and Westlake Terrace. Several entrances to the mall are closed as well.

This story is developing and will be updated. Check back with WTOP News for updates. 

Ciara Wells

Ciara Wells is the Evening Digital Editor at WTOP. She is a graduate of American University where she studied journalism and Spanish. Before joining WTOP, she was the opinion team editor at a student publication and a content specialist at an HBCU in Detroit.

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