Source: Scene Reports & MCFRS Press Report
Three Montgomery County, Maryland firefighters were injured when a catastrophic floor collapse occurred while fighting an apartment fire that also claimed the life of a civilian.
Firefighters from Rockville and the surrounding area were dispatched to the 12800 block of Twinbrook Parkway shortly before 1 a.m. Saturday and arrived with heavy fire showing from the second and third floors of the building, extending to the attic space with multiple civilian rescues.
As an Engine and Tower crew were making an aggressive interior fire attack, a second and third alarm were sounded bringing units from throughout the county. Numerous EMS units were on the scene.
The floor collapse occurred within about ten minutes of the first units arriving, spokesman Pete Piringer said in a statement. Two of the three crew members were dropped from the third floor into the seat and origin of the fire on the second level.
A Mayday was immediately called and all efforts not already focused on civilian rescues were switched to rapid intervention and rescue of the trapped firefighters from the first arriving engine crew from Company 723. Two members of the crew escaped the intense blaze by jumping out of a second story window to the ground below, sustaining serious injuries.
Command immediately requested a helicopter for Medevac. The Captain from the engine company, one of the two to jump from the second floor, advised other crews that the whereabouts of the third firefighter were still unknown and he was still possibly inside.
Rapid intervention crews went to work immediately. Within a few minutes, he was located and assisted in exiting the building via the interior. Accountability checks at that time revealed all crews whereabouts were known.
At about the same time rescues were being made by other crews who located a victim in a second floor apartment, near the front door. He was removed, but succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead on the scene. He is being identified as Timothy Moran, age 50. Mr. Moran was the single occupant of the second floor apartment. Fire and Explosive Investigators believe this is where the fire originated. One other resident was rescued and transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. A total of four residents were rescued by firefighters.
Fire Captain/Paramedic R. Dwayne Dutrow, age 38, a 17-year veteran, was flown to the MedStar Burn Unit at Washington Hospital Center. His injuries are serious, but not life threatening. Firefighter James Heikka, age 31, an 8-year veteran was also flown to the MedStar Burn Unit. His injuries are serious, but not life threatening. Both are being admitted. Firefighters Mark Mechlin, is in his 20’s and has been with the MCFRS for about one year,was transported by a medic unit to the MedStar Burn Unit. His injuries were less serious and he is expected to be treated and released.
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