Fire broke out Friday night in a townhouse complex off Norbeck Road in in Silver Spring. Credit: Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service

A Friday night fire that damaged eight townhouses in a Silver Spring development off Norbeck Road was likely caused by ashes from a firepit or fireplace that were placed outside, according to the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service.

Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Pete Piringer posted on Twitter that ashes placed outside near a deck area of a townhouse in the 3500 block of Landing Way appeared to be the source of the accidental fire that displaced several people and resulted in damage totaling more than $1.5 million. No injuries were reported.

Police Blotter: 10 vehicle thefts, two armed carjackings reported in Silver Spring area

County firefighters were dispatched for a report of a fire in a townhouse at about 8 p.m., according to a video Piringer posted Friday night. Firefighters arrived to find “multiple” townhouses on fire and “very heavy fire conditions.” They called for reinforcements, with about 85 firefighters responding to the scene, which is off Norbeck Road and near Georgia Avenue.

He said the fire appeared to start on the “outside area” behind the row of townhouses and spread quickly to the siding of one home and then neighboring townhouses. The blaze was “fairly quickly controlled,” Piringer said. Radiant heat caused damage to townhouses across from those that burned, he said.

The video showed the blackened exterior of one townhouse in a long row and the melted siding on several others in another row across a grassy area.