Montgomery County Fire & Rescue service is aiming to boost the number of applicants through its ride along program during the month of August. Credit: Dan Schere

This article was updated at 4:17 p.m. Jan. 14 with more details.

A firefighter and at least two other people were injured in a fire Friday afternoon at an apartment building near Westfield Montgomery mall, according to Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson Pete Piringer.

The injuries were considered non-life-threatening, Piringer wrote on Twitter. Two families were displaced.

Flame from a stovetop cooking “mishap” caught on clothes, which then ignited other material, Piringer reported.

Officials were dispatched around 4:20 p.m. to the second-floor blaze in the 10300 block of Westlake Drive. There, rescue units encountered heavy smoke, according to the Fire Department’s media hotline. 

Many residents took refuge on their balconies and were helped down by firefighters using ladders or through the building, according to officials.


“They did have residents trapped by the heavy smoke, unable to get out. Due to the heavy smoke, a precautionary second alarm was dispatched to assist with the evacuation,” Piringer wrote.

A firefighter and two other people were transported to a hospital, according to the department.

The damage was estimated at about $300,000, Piringer wrote.


The building did not have sprinkler systems, or a standpipe or hose connections, Piringer said.

The Montgomery County Police Department issued an advisory on social media that Westlake Drive off Democracy Boulevard had been shut down, as well as the mall entrances on Westlake. Police advised drivers to seek other routes.

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