A three-alarm fire that erupted at an apartment building in the Chevy Chase area on Tuesday was started by a relative of one of the tenants, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service officials said Wednesday.
The blaze, reported at 2:15 p.m. at 2815 Terrace Drive, caused more than $1 million in damage to the structure and contents. It displaced more than 100 people after destroying or damaging 34 units, officials said. No residents were injured. But one firefighter was taken to a local trauma center for serious but non-life threatening injuries related to heat, and a second firefighter suffered a minor orthopedic injury, fire officials said.
Early Wednesday morning, Abraham Ogazgi Kiflu, 24, arrived at a district police station in Silver Spring and and asked to speak with a fire marshal, officials said.
“During that interview, Kiflu voluntarily confessed to starting the fire. Kiflu was charged with first-degree arson,” fire officials said in a news release.
Kiflu had been staying with a relative who is a tenant at the apartment building, which is several blocks north of East-West Highway, between Jones Mill Road and Grubb Road. He set the blaze in the relative’s unit, officials said.
No further details were released about exactly how the fire was started. About 125 firefighters and rescuers responded to the fire, and were on the scene for more than four hours.