Montgomery firefighters battle two early morning blazes

By Debbi Wilgoren
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 19, 2010; 9:14 AM

Montgomery County firefighters rescued four people from their balconies in a Germantown apartment building early Tuesday, after a fire in the lobby area of the building prevented them from leaving on their own, authorities said.

Less than two hours later, a second fire at a home in Rockville left two residents injured, one seriously.

The first fire began in the common stairwell/lobby area of a garden-style apartment building in the 12200 block of Eagles Nest Court in Germantown, assistant fire chief Scott Graham said.

Firefighters were called to the three-story building at 4:40 a.m. and used ladders and an aerial truck to help four residents -- adults and teenagers -- descend from their balconies, Graham said.

One person suffered minor smoke inhalation.

At 6:20 a.m., firefighters responded to a second blaze, in a single-family house in the unit block of Balmoral Court in Rockville, Graham said. That fire appeared to have begun in a second-floor bedroom.

Graham said one person was seriously burned in the blaze, and second person was slightly injured. The person who was burned was taken to an area hospital, Graham said. The other injured person declined transport.

Graham said the causes of both fires are under investigation, and the Red Cross is helping the displaced families find temporary lodging.

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