Aspen Hill apartment fire displaces 50 families

ASPEN HILL, MD. (WJLA) - Roughly 50 families are displaced today after a massive fire ripped through an apartment building in Aspen Hill, MD. Thursday evening.

Witnesses report seeing heavy smoke pouring from the three-story, garden-style apartment building.known as the Manor Apartments, located on Georgia Avenue.

Faulty wiring is believed to be the cause of the fire, according to Montgomery County fire officials. That fact reportedly caused firefighters problems, as the blaze was almost entirely contained behind the walls of the building, making it difficult to reach and put out.

Nearly 100 firefighters helped to put out the fire. Witnesses heard the sirens from the numerous fire trucks responding to the scene.

"I just [saw the] fire trucks coming down here...and I thought, oh my, where is it?" said neighbor Millicent Sales.

Many of the displaced families were put out of their homes not because they burned, but because the utilities were cut off to their units as a precaution.

Gerda Sejour had planned to move into her new apartment this week, but after the fire, the leasing office reportedly gave up her unit to a displaced family temporarily.

"When I came to get my stuff so I could start moving, they told me I wasn't able to because my apartment was being used by some of the people that were displaced," Sejour told ABC7.

The damage to the Manor Apartments building is estimated at around $1 million thus far.

ABC7 was told that around 5:30 Friday evening, Montgomery County firefighters will be coming to the Manor Apartments and going door-to-door, checking smoke detectors as well as passing along fire safety advice to hopefully prevent any future fires.