An early morning two-alarm fire in a Silver Spring high rise forced a number of 17th and 18th floor apartment dwellers at El Dorado Towers, 11200 Lockwood Rd., to evacuate their apartments, Montgomery County fire officials said.

Fire officials said the fire started when a woman in her seventies dropped a lighted cigarette into a trash can. They said the fire, that gutted her apartment, caused $125,000 damage and resulted in minor injuries to a fireman.

More than six fire companies were called to the blaze that began at approximately 2 a.m., said Hillendale Fire Chief, Richard P. Cline.

Cline said fire officials decided the fire required additional staffing shortly after they arrived to prevent the fire from spreading to the 19th floor of the 22-story building.

The fire chief said there was some confusion among fire officials when they first arrived on the scene because the fire was originally reported on the 10th floor of the high rise apartment building.

"When firemen arrived on the 18th floor, the apartment was well involved and flames were coming out into the hallway," said Cline.

Fire officials said it took more than four hours to extinguish the blaze.