(UPDATED: 3:00 p.m.) Montgomery County firefighters put out a series of brush fires that began along the right side of northbound I-270 this afternoon and threatened nearby townhomes.
The fires began at about 1 p.m. and stretched almost half a mile from the Beltway and Rockville Pike exits onto I-270 to Old Georgetown Road. At 2:50 p.m, MCFRS officials reported a fire near townhomes on Englishman Drive had been completely put out.
The fires have caused a significant traffic delay as all three lanes of I-270 North and the ramp from Rockville Pike remain closed. Cars are getting by in a single lane of traffic on the right shoulder.
MCFRS officials on the scene requested the fire marshall to help investigate what started the fires. There were no reported auto fires along I-270 at the time the fire started.
There were fires on each side of the Grosvenor Lane overpass. Firefighters requested an ambulance unit as a precaution, but nobody was reported injured.
A Red Cross Bloodmobile caught fire last night while traveling on River Road, according to Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services.
A Hazmat team was on the scene and “removing contents,” from the vehicle, according to Fire and Rescue Services spokesman Capt. Scott Graham.
There were no injuries. There was no apparent cause of the fire as of last night, Graham said.
The incident and clean-up closed both directions of River Road between Wilson Lane and Beach Tree Road for much of the night. Police diverted drivers going to and coming from the nearby Beltway into surrounding neighborhoods.
Video courtesy of Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services via Telly
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services Chief Richard Bowers this afternoon welcomed back 80 county emergency responders who spent the last nine days in New York and New Jersey assisting authorities and victims in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
The crew was called up on Oct. 28 by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as an Urban Search and Rescue Team with the primary mission of finding and rescuing victims of the storm trapped in homes by flooding. According to a MCFRS press release, the team also assisted in transporting emergency vehicles — boats, water rescue equipment, tractor trailers and off-road 4×4 vehicles — to help move personnel into affected areas in the New York and New Jersey region.
The responders returned to Montgomery County today.
The team was moved to Ft. Dix in central New Jersey near the coast as the storm moved in. The crew moved a 14-vehicle convoy of essential equipment into flooded, powerless areas.
There were still as many as a million people without power in the region this weekend.
“From me to all of you, thank you very much. I’m very proud of this team. I’m very, very proud that as a resource the federal government is able to, if you will, build a team from the local level and be able to send it wherever is necessary to make a difference. And that’s what you did. You made a difference, you made a contribution,” Bowers said. ”I know what you need now because I’ve been in your seat. You need a little rest. You need probably a warm meal, and a nice warm bed.”
(UPDATE: 10:05 a.m.) A couch fire caused minimal damage in a Battery Lane apartment this morning and it appears nobody will be displaced, a Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services spokeswoman said.
MCFRS was called to 4911 Battery Lane at 8:41 a.m. for a report of smoke in the building, spokeswoman Beth Anne Nesselt said. Upon arriving, first responders evacuated the building and requested additional resources. They determined a couch fire in one of the apartments caused the smoke.
Nesselt said firefighters put out the fire at 8:50 a.m. and there were no injuries.
Investigators are on the scene now, but Nesselt said it doesn’t look like anybody will be displaced. She said officials were trying to locate the resident of the apartment where the fire took place.
A resident of 4911 said the man who lives in the apartment typically walks to work in the mornings. His car remained in the parking lot.
The 4911 building is a three-story garden style apartment near the intersection of Battery Lane and Woodmont Avenue. The fire happened in a third-floor apartment. Firefighters busted out two back windows and inserted high-pressure water hoses into the apartment through the front door.
Bethesda appeared to suffer much less significant damage than officials had predicted for Sandy, which made landfall in South New Jersey last night.
About 1,830 Pepco customers were without power in nine Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Kensington and North Bethesda zip codes at 9 a.m. The utility company had predicted perhaps hundreds of thousands of customers in its Montgomery County, Prince George’s County and Washington D.C. coverage area would lose power.
There was significant tree damage in the 5900 block of Grosvenor Lane. Power has been shut off in that neighborhood as crews work to untangle a mess of downed trees and power lines just east of Old Georgetown Road.
A traffic light came down at the intersection of East-West Highway and Waverly Street around 11:30 p.m. Monday, though it didn’t appear to cause any further damage.
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services reported 324 dispatches countywide between 5 p.m. and midnight. The peak period came between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., when MCFRS units were dispatched 156 times. From midnight to 4 a.m., MCFRS units were dispatched 47 times.
The most significant incident in Montgomery County came in Silver Spring, where a downed tree on an apartment caused a gas leak that displaced 19. There were no injuries.
A female bicyclist appeared to suffer minor injuries after a collision with a car on Wednesday morning near downtown.
The incident occurred around 9:30 a.m. at the crosswalk of Cheltenham Drive and Wisconsin Avenue and involved a Mercedes SUV. Rescue Services and MCPD were on the scene attending to the injured bicyclist, who was put into an ambulance.
A witness said the bicyclist didn’t appear to be badly hurt and lifted herself onto a gurney.
An August report from CountyStat said there were eight reported bicycle collisions in 2011 in downtown Bethesda, most involving cars at crosswalks.
About 20 Kensington residents are without water service tonight and some are without power after a water main broke on a residential street near Cedar Lane.
The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission was called to the break at about 6 p.m., WSSC spokesman Lyn Riggins said. The six-inch water main under the road in the 4400 block of Glenridge Street is 72-years-old, Riggins said.
“Unfortunately, that’s what happens when you have old pipes. They at some point come to their useful end and they break,” Riggins said.
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services instructed Pepco to shut off power to a number of residents as a precaution, Riggins said. About six saw their basements flooded by water from the break.
Riggins said it takes four to six hours to fix a typical break and restore service, though larger breaks can take longer to repair. Workers were arriving on the scene at around 8:45 p.m. to pump out the water from a roughly five-foot deep hole in the road and assess the type of damage to the pipe.
WSSC consumer advocates were talking to residents affected by the break. Riggins said WSSC will provide water to the residents for the duration of the service outage, as is typical.
A small freon leak in the basement of Suburban Hospital has the emergency room closed to new patients, hospital spokeswoman Ronna Borenstein said.
The leak occurred in the cooling system of a basement computer server room, Borenstein said. Fire and Rescue officials were on the scene of the hospital at 8600 Old Georgetown Rd., and many employees were waiting outside the building.
Borenstein said the leak had no impact on any of the patients inside the hospital, but the ER would not be taking in new patients until the scene was cleared.
A motorcyclist was injured and transported to a local hospital after a collision with a SUV this morning on Old Georgetown Road.
The collision occurred around 8:15 a.m. at the intersection of Old Georgetown Road and Cordell Avenue.
Medical personnel were attending to the motorcyclist, who was strapped to a gurney and lifted into a waiting ambulance.
The motorcycle appeared to sustain minor damage. The driver of the SUV involved in the collision remained on the scene. The SUV had a sizeable dent on its right side and its right-side airbag was deployed.
Police shut down northbound Old Georgetown Road and diverted traffic toward St. Elmo Avenue. The accident caused a brief back-up on southbound Old Georgetown Road.
Fire and Rescue personnel put out a small attic fire in a Rosedale Avenue home this afternoon, temporarily closing off the residential area near the intersection of Rosedale Avenue and Kentucky Avenue.
The call for smoke in the attic came in around 3 p.m. on Monday. Smoke could be seen coming from under the roof at the home in the 4500 block of Rosedale Avenue.
Firefighters used chainsaws to cut a hole through the roof to access the attic and quickly extinguished the fire.
The homeowner called with reports of smoke from the attic and told firefighters she had recently had workers in the house. She was unharmed on remained on the scene.
UPDATED (9:35 a.m.): A Fire and Rescue official said the cleanup is almost complete and the road should be cleared in the next 15 minutes.
UPDATED (8:50 a.m.): Montgomery County Fire and Rescue spokesman assistant chief Scott Graham tweets a worker damaged a 1,000 gallon liquid propane tank. One home has been evacuated and officials are monitoring the area.
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue officials have evacuated homeowners near the site of an active propane leak at a home in the 7100 block of Glenbrook Road.
Police have shut down Glenbrook Road just north of Hampden Lane to south of Audobon Road after measuring high amounts of propane in the area.
Authorities have also set up a perimeter around the home.
The Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad (5020 Battery Lane) will host a pair of events geared toward the public in the next week, including Sunday’s Oyster and Shrimp Feast and an annual open house on Oct. 6, to go along with Taste of Bethesda.
The Oyster and Shrimp Feast is Sunday, Sept. 30 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Rescue Squad’s Anastasia banquet room.
The fundraising event typically attracts around 300 Rescue Squad members, their families and Bethesda area residents.
Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 the day of the event. For more information contact the Rescue Squad at its website.
The open house, “Rescue Day 2012,” will feature a tour of the station, equipment demonstrations and the squad’s 1972 Cadillac ambulance.
A gas refueling truck ruptured an underground gas tank at the Shell station at River Road and Butler Road shortly after 11 a.m. today, according to a Montgomery County Police officer on the scene.
A Montgomery County Hazmat team was called to the station and emergency personnel were pouring an absorbant on the gas that had leaked onto Butler Road.
The officer described the leak as “minimal.” Butler Road was taped off and a portion of the right lane of River Road was closed just north of the intersection with Little Falls Parkway.
The refueling truck, which was still on the scene, reportedly backed up and punctured the underground tank, causing the leak.
A house fire in in the 4000 block of Glenrose Street in Kensington caused major damage and required the evacuation of an elderly woman and her caregiver, according to scanner traffic.
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service received a call just after 3:15 p.m. on Monday. As many as six fire engines were on the scene, closing a southbound lane of traffic on nearby Connecticut Avenue.
Sections of the home’s living room, garage and upstairs appeared to sustain heavy damage. Montgomery County Fire and Rescue spokesman Assistant Chief Scott Graham said he was awaiting an incident report before releasing information.
Twelve two-year-olds at the Temple Emanuel Early Childhood Center at 10101 Connecticut Ave. in Kensington were transported to the hospital this morning after suffering “multiple” bee stings during a fire drill, according to the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service.
They sustained minor injuries and are in stable condition, according to MCFRS spokesman Scott Graham, via his Twitter feed.
A front desk attendant at Temple Emanuel said the synagogue would not be commenting. She did add the children, “were fine and taken care of.”
The Early Childhood Center has a year-round preschool program for children ages 2-5.