Neighbors help woman and man escape house fire in the Gaithersburg area

As fire began to rage through their home in the Gaithersburg area, couple in their 30s heard the smoke alarm and tried to escape the smoke and flames.

But it wasn’t easy to get outside. The man uses a wheelchair and the woman struggled to get them both outside to safety.

Fortunately, neighbors heard the commotion and came to rescue not only the couple, but also their pets , Montgomery County fire officials said.

Flames tore through the large single-family home in the 8000 block of Warfield Road just after 9 p.m., said Pete Piringer, a fire department spokesman. It took firefighters about 30 minutes to control the fire, which investigators believe may have started in the garage.

Authorities took the woman to a hospital with smoke inhalation injuries, and the man was also transported for evaluation, Piringer said. Neither person suffered life-threatening injuries, he said.

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Clarence Williams is the night police reporter for The Washington Post and has spent the better part of 13 years standing next to crime scene tape, riding in police cars or waking officials in the middle of night to gather information about breaking news in and around Washington.

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