Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008

Dehumidifier blamed in early morning blaze

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A fire in North Bethesda burned through a townhouse’s basement Tuesday morning and spread to the rest of the home, according to a fire and rescue spokesman.

At 7:30 a.m., 60 firefighters responded to the 11900 block of Bargate Court, off Montrose Road, said Capt. Oscar Garcia, spokesman for the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service. Within 10 minutes the majority of the fire was extinguished, he said, but the blaze still caused $200,000 in damage.

There were no reported injuries, and fire officials determined the cause of the fire to be an electrical failure in a portable dehumidifier. Two people, an 8-year-old girl and adult female, were home at the time, Garcia said.

He said one other adult female lived at the home, but was not at the home at the time of the fire. The family has been displaced, but the American Red Cross is helping with food and shelter, Garcia said.