An article on Nov. 11 reported that occupants of a house at 18728 Tanterra Way, Olney, left their house after building a fire in their fireplace. What actually happened was that the occupants were in the house until a neighbor alerted them that flames and smoke were coming out of the chimney, at which point they left the house.
Fire caused an estimated $1.2 million damage Tuesday night to a house under construction in the newly developed Martingale Court section of Potomac. Officials and neighbors said the house was being built for Dr. Earl C. Mills, a neurosurgeon at Montgomery General Hospital.
The blaze, which drew Cabin John and Rockville firefighters to the scene at 7:30 p.m., was visible to Potomac residents several blocks away. It destroyed the brick three-story, custom-built residence and threatened the surrounding woods. "The tops of the trees around the house were burning," a neighbor said.
Residents of Burbank Street around the corner from the house said Martingale Court is a street so new it is still unpaved, although several families have already moved in.
A long-time resident of the exclusive neighborhood described the destroyed house, under construction for almost two years, as "very, very elegant." The Mills family was expecting to move in next month, a neighbor said.
The Montgomery County fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire, which is thought to have started shortly after 7 p.m. Dr. Mills, contacted at the hospital, declined to comment on the fire.
In a second house fire in Montgomery County, a defective chimney flue was blamed for $30,000 damage at 18728 Tanterra Way in Olney. Firefighters said the occupants built a fire and then left the house.