This article was updated at 11:50 a.m. and 4:25 p.m. Feb. 18 with additional information.
A woman has died following a three-alarm fire Saturday morning at a high-rise apartment complex in downtown Silver Spring, according to Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Pete Piringer.
At least 17 residents and three firefighters were sent to the hospital, according to Fire Chief Scott Goldstein. One person is in critical condition, and the three firefighters were released.
Hundreds of residents were displaced, many gathering across the street in the lobby of a DoubleTree Hotel
The fire started in a seventh-floor unit in the Arrive Silver Spring complex on Georgia Avenue , Goldstein said. The cause remains unknown.
During a briefing for residents, county emergency officials said smoke and smoke damage continues to affect the hallways and common spaces. There is also some water damage. Members of the county’s Department of Permitting Services are currently investigating the building.
Some residents may be displaced for multiple days, according to Earl Stoddard, director of the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.
“There is going to be a need, clearly, for substantial remediation in parts of the building,” Stoddard said.
The county has set up a reception center at the DoubleTree Hotel. Red Cross representatives are available on site to assist residents and provide services.
Alarms went off around 6 a.m. Saturday. Some residents who encountered smoke in their hallways took refuge on their balconies until they could be evacuated.
The road was blocked by emergency vehicles at Georgia Ave between Spring Street and Fenwick Lane.
Stoddard said county emergency services officials are working with the property manager to assess the damage. He said there building has sustained significant smoke and water damage, specifically on the seventh floor of the A/B building, where the fire began.
The complex is separated into two buildings which each have 15 floors with about 18 units on each floor.
Stoddard said the Department of Health and Human Services is working to set up a reception and displacement center for residents. He said investigators are on the scene to determine the cause and severity of the damage. Stoddard said depending on the severity of the damage, some residents may be placed in hotels.
This is a developing story.
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