Credit: Photo by Pete Piringer

A gas station in Rockville was severely damaged Friday morning when a fire broke out, according to Montgomery County Fire & Rescue officials.

Pete Piringer, a fire and rescue spokesman, wrote on Twitter at 10:12 a.m. that the Sunoco in the 700 block of Hungerford Drive had a building fire.

Piringer said in a video he posted to Twitter that the fire is believed to have started in the service bay area of the gas station, where mechanics were working.


In an interview, he said the fire ignited when gas spilled in the service area near a kerosene space heater. The fire quickly grew, he said, due to the presence of many combustible materials.

The fire caused about $1 million in damage, Piringer said.

Piringer said the gas pumps outside were not damaged, but the overhang they are attached to was.


He said the mechanics and customers in the convenience store area all evacuated and there were no injuries.

Piringer said 85 firefighters came to the scene.

Smoke could be seen billowing in the sky from several blocks away.


In addition to the building damage, vehicles that were in the mechanic shop for repairs were also burned.

Piringer 2

Rockville Pike was closed in both directions between downtown Rockville and Montgomery College as of noon Friday. Piringer said at 12:30 p.m. that the northbound side of the road was being reopened.


Dan Schere can be reached at

Staff writer Caitlynn Peetz contributed to this report.