March 22, 2011

Elderly couple remains hospitalized after Potomac house fire

Two residents in their 80s remain hospitalized after a cigarette caused a fire Sunday in their Potomac home that also injured two county firefighters. Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Responded around 3 p.m. Sunday to a house fire in the 8100 block of Whites Ford Way, Montgomery County Assistant Chief Scott Graham said. Neighbors helped get the two residents out of the house before rescue crews arrived.

An 85-year-old man suffered second degree burns on 21 percent of his body and was taken to the hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries, Graham said. An 87-year-old woman was also taken to the hospital. Both had injuries resulting from inhaling smoke.

Two firefighters also received burns, Graham said. They were taken to the hospital Sunday and released later that day.

The fire took about 45 minutes to extinguish, Graham said.

The cause of the fire is believed to be improperly discarded non fire-safe cigarettes in the first floor den, Graham said. He did not know who was smoking or where the cigarettes came from.

Maryland passed a law last year banning the sale of non fire-safe cigarettes, but it is not illegal to own them, Graham said. A fire-safe cigarette will extinguish after certain period of time if left alone. SOURCE: Gazette

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