2 dead in Silver Spring apartment fire, explosion

Posted at 5:05 AM, Aug 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-11 23:29:31-04

Two people have been confirmed dead in an explosion and fire at an apartment complex in Silver Spring.  

Thirty-one people were taken to the hospital along with three firefighters who had minor injuries. Up to seven people were still missing as of Thursday morning.

Three firefighters suffered minor heat exhaustion, fire officials said. Two apartment buildings were damaged in the explosion.

According to Montgomery County Fire officials, apartments on the 8700 block of Piney Branch Road near Arliss Street caught fire around midnight. An off duty Montgomery County Police Officer called in the explosion. Natural gas fueled the fire, which caused the buildings to collapse.

Firefighters worked throughout the night to rescue residents, but some are still unaccounted for. The fire called for a huge response from local emergency service members. 

About 90 residents have been displaced. Emergency crews are working to make the building safe, saying it's still a collapse hazard. 

The Long Branch Community Center is where displaced residents can go for food and shelter. More than 100 people were served breakfast Thursday morning.

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