UPDATE: Local authorities rule death of man found in house explosion site a suicide

  • Published in Local

Rockville house explosion 1Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service responded Friday to a home explosion on Ashley Drive in Rockville. The bodies of a man and a dog were found Saturday. FILE PHOTO

ROCKVILLE – The Montgomery County Fire chief said investigators from Montgomery County Police, Fire and Rescue, and the Alcohol, Tobacco, Explosives and Firearms Bureau continue to investigate the cause of Friday’s house explosion where investigators found the remains of a man and his dog. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled the man’s death a suicide.


Man missing after home explosion in Rockville

  • Published in Local

Rockville house explosion 2Units from Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service responded to a home explosion on Ashley Drive in Rockville. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue are searching for a missing man after a home explosion in Rockville early Thursday morning.

Just before 1:00 a.m., a home located on 11422 Ashley Dr. in the Randolph Hills neighborhood of Rockville exploded, destroying the home. Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services Spokesperson Pete Piringer described it as, “complete blast explosion damage, a burning rubble pile, a very large debris field.”


Man who threatened judge with bomb under arrest

  • Published in Local

Car Bomb Scare 6A bomb inspector with Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service approaches and searches a car for an explosive device. but nothing was found. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  

Police arrested a man who threatened a judge with a bomb over a domestic court case.

Units from the Montgomery County Police Department and Montgomery County Sheriff's Department were able to locate the suspect through his license plate number and pulled him over at Maryland Avenue and Great Falls Road, near Julius West Middle School. Police then placed the suspect under arrest.

According to Dan Ogrin, battalion chief with Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, a canine unit with the County Sheriff’s Department indicated at the scene there could be something inside the car. Access to nearby I-270 was closed in both directions while MCFRS investigated the potential danger.

MCFRS dispatched a robot to search inside the car and the car’s trunk but nothing was found. MCFRS then sent in a bomb inspector in protective gear, but no dangerous materials or weapons were found.

This story will be updated as it develops.




County hears more on fatal fire

  • Published in Local

Silver Spring fire 8-11-16An internal audit was held on the County's response to the Flower Branch Apartments fire that killed seven and displaced over 100 people last August. FILE PHOTO  

During their internal audit about the County’s response to the fire at Flower Branch Apartments in Silver Spring that killed seven and displaced more than 100 people last August, County officials did not interview victims from the fire.

At last week’s council meeting, officials from several County agencies briefed the Council on an internal audit of the County’s response in providing services in the immediate aftermath of the fire. The audit listed several recommendations for the County, including a need for better communication between County staff.

Council member Tom Hucker (D-5) said the audit was disappointing and criticized County officials for not interviewing the victims of the fire who received the County’s services.

“It seems strange to me, as an approach, that you would just talk to County agencies and the non-profits we fund, but not the actual victims,” Hucker said.


Metro will review training

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metro logo

WASHINGTON – Metro’s safety chief said the organization plans to re-examine training for two positions after safety incidents that occurred in January and summarized a safety incident involving train car doors.

Metro Chief Safety Officer Pat Lavin said that in both a fall and in an incident that caused a worker electrical shock, employees seemed inadequately trained and the crew members did not follow protocol.

Lavin said Metro’s investigations of both incidents are ongoing.


County expands care for dementia patients

  • Published in Local

ROCKVILLE – Montgomery County has launched its Dementia Friendly Initiative in an effort to make the county more accommodating to those with cognitive impairments.

“We felt that this was a best practice that underscored much of what we were already doing,” said John Kenney, chief of Montgomery County’s Aging and Disability Services.


Woman charged with arson of her Silver Spring home

  • Published in Crime

Montgomery County fire investigators charged an adult woman with arson after a fire at her Silver Spring home Friday morning.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS) responded to a call around 1 a.m. in the second floor bedroom of a home on Sea Island Court in Silver Spring. Fire investigators charged an adult woman who lives at the residence with one count of first-degree arson and three counts of reckless endangerment.


Fire in Montgomery Village leaves four homeless

  • Published in Local

townhousefireFirefighters put out fire at townhouse in Montgomery Village.         PHOTO BY KATHLEEN STUBBS

MONTGOMERY VILLAGE – A fire at a townhouse displaced three siblings and their cousin Friday night. 

No injuries were reported after part of the townhouse above the ceiling caught fire and filled the home with smoke, said Bill Dunn, assistant fire chief for the Rockville Volunteer Fire Department. The fire went above the ceiling but not through the roof, which would have been more serious. 


Local firefighters help Carolina survivors

  • Published in Local

MCFRS task force 3Members of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue task force provided assistance to Hurricane Matthew survivors in the Carolinas. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  

Fifty-four members of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue task force helped out in North Carolina and South Carolina as Hurricane Matthew wreaked havoc throughout the area, flooding coastal areas throughout the southeastern United States.

Because much of the area had already been evacuated, the task force didn’t end up rescuing anyone.

Instead, workers drilled and “got comfortable with what they needed to do. We were there if we were needed, and we maximized our time,” said Monte Fitch, a battalion chief in Montgomery County who headed the recent rescue effort.

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