There weren’t any reports of injuries.
According to officials, on Saturday morning around 11 a.m., Montgomery County Fire and Rescue personnel were called to the Willow Manor at Fairland apartment complex for reports of a fire in the stairwell.
Firefighters discovered “there was a fire in the stairwell, especially between the second and third floors … there was a sprinkler activation, pretty heavy smoke conditions throughout the building,” fire department spokesman Pete Piringer told WTOP.
“We did evacuate some people. We did assist some of the other residents either sheltering in place, or getting out,” Piringer said. “But fortunately there were no injuries and the fire was extinguished pretty quickly.”
The cause of the fire may have been an improperly discarded cigarette.
“Apparently, some folks tend to smoke in that particular stairwell. And they improperly discarded one of the cigarette butts and caused the fire,” Piringer said. “Fortunately, the sprinkler system did keep the fire in check.”
Initial estimates of the damage are around $25,000 — not including water damage, Piringer said in a tweet Saturday afternoon.
At least 30 residents of the building will be temporarily displaced due to smoke or water damage.
“The Red Cross has been called in along with our Department of Health and Human Services Emergency Management Group to assist those residents. It appears as though at least, temporarily, initially, about 30 apartments (and) 30 residents will be affected,” Piringer told WTOP.