A County review of the aftermath from a gas-fed fire that killed seven at the Flower Branch Apartments in Silver Spring revealed a language barrier between County officials and tenants.
Many of the tenants are immigrants from Latin America who spoke Spanish as their primary language. They had trouble communicating with firefighters and other County personnel in the immediate aftermath and days following the fire.
Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger, Fire Chief Scott Goldstein, Director of the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Earl Stoddard and the Chief Administrative Officer for Montgomery County, Tim Firestine briefed County Council members Sept. 27.
“That’s a gap, that ought to be addressed,” said Council member Tom Hucker (D-5) about the language barrier between County staff and the victims of the fire.