Explosion, fire at Maryland apartment complex ruled accident

Mar 7, 2022, 5:42 PM | Updated: 6:04 pm

Firefighters work the scene after an explosion and fire caused an apartment building to collapse in...

Firefighters work the scene after an explosion and fire caused an apartment building to collapse in Silver Spring, Md., Thursday, March, 3, 2022. Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service reports that multiple people were critically hurt in the fire that started at about 10:30 a.m. at a four-story building at the Friendly Garden Apartments in Silver Spring, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — An explosion and fire that destroyed a Maryland apartment building last week was accidental and caused by a maintenance worker who cut a gas line instead of a waste pipe, an official said Monday.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services Chief Scott Goldstein said his department cannot say what specifically ignited the fire in which 14 people were hospitalized. Goldstein said his department is wrapping up the investigation at the site.

“All kinds of things make the opportunity for a spark or ignition source, which is why we won’t and have been unable to determine what the ignition source was,” Goldstein said during a news conference.

Firefighters responded to the Friendly Garden Apartments in Silver Spring, just outside Washington, D.C., about 10:30 a.m. on Thursday.

According to Goldstein, the maintenance worker was trying to fix a clogged drain in an apartment, using a snake to remove debris and sort out the clog. The worker went to the unit below that apartment and cut what he believed to be a drain waste pipe to remove the clog and put a cap on the pipe.

The maintenance worker went back to the first apartment when a flash fire occurred. The apartment resident was hurt, and both persons were leaving the building and had reached a back stairwell when the explosion occurred, Goldstein said.

Of the 14 people taken to hospitals for treatment, three of them were initially listed in serious condition. Since the explosion, 12 people have been discharged from the hospital and one person remains in critical condition. All residents of the apartment complex have been accounted for, officials said.

Three of the six buildings in the complex just north of Washington, D.C., were deemed unsafe to occupy. At least 150 people have been displaced.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Arizona and New York attorneys feud over extraditing suspect...

Associated Press

Why Alvin Bragg and Rachel Mitchell are fighting over extraditing suspect in New York hotel killing

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell says she isn't into extraditing a suspect due to her lack of faith in Manhattan’s top prosecutor.

2 days ago

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018. A 34-year-old Color...

Associated Press

Colorado man dies after being bitten by pet Gila monster

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death by one of the desert lizards if the creature's venom turns out to have been the cause.

3 days ago

Police clear the area following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebr...

Associated Press

1 dead, many wounded after shooting at Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade

One person died after 22 people were hit by gunfire in a shooting at the end of the Kansas Chiefs' Super Bowl victory celebration Wednesday.

11 days ago

This image from House Television shows House Speaker Mike Johnson of La., banging the gavel after h...

Associated Press

GOP-led House impeaches Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas — by one vote — over border management

Having failed to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas the first time, House Republicans are determined to try again Tuesday.

11 days ago

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, right, and Kenya's Defense Minister Aden Duale, left, listen during...

Associated Press

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin hospitalized with bladder issue

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been hospitalized following symptoms pointing to an “emergent bladder issue."

13 days ago

Joel Osteen, the pastor of Lakewood Church, stands with his wife, Victoria Osteen, as he conducts a...

Associated Press

Woman firing rifle killed by 2 off-duty officers at Houston’s Lakewood Church run by Joel Osteen

A woman entered the Texas megachurch of Joel Osteen and started shooting with a rifle Sunday and was killed by two off-duty officers.

13 days ago

Sponsored Articles

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.


Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Explosion, fire at Maryland apartment complex ruled accident