UPDATE 4:50 a.m. A fire in the electrical room of the Hyatt Regency Bethesda early this morning left one worker injured and more than 400 guests and forced to move to Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, according to MCFRS spokesman Capt. Scott Graham.
An explosion in the electrical room after midnight in the garage of the hotel (7400 Wisconsin Ave.) sent the worker to the burn center of Suburban Hospital according to Graham.
The fire was held in check by the sprinkler system, but the guests at the hotel were moved in Ride On buses to the gym at nearby B-CC High School around 2:15 a.m., where they are being assisted by the Red Cross.
Wisconsin Avenue in both directions was closed during MCFRS’ response to the fire.
Students at B-CC and all Montgomery County Public Schools are on spring break this week. Some hotel guests transferred to other area hotels.
At 4:45 a.m., fire fighters allowed guests back on to Ride On buses to retrieve medicine or other belongings from the hotel.
Capt. Scott Graham reported fire fighters had cleared the hotel and Wisconsin Avenue will reopen by 6 a.m.
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service officials are investigating what caused a series of brush fires yesterday along I-270 that caused a significant traffic back-up on to the Beltway.
The cause has been ruled “undetermined” by fire and explosive investigators, MCFRS spokeswoman Beth Anne Nesselt said this morning.
Yesterday, a Maryland State Police official told The Gazette the fires might have been intentionally set.
There were about nine separate fires spread almost half a mile from the Rockville Pike ramp to Rockledge Drive. Firefighters were working simultaneously to put out fires on each side of the Grosvenor Lane overpass when the event was called in around 1 p.m.
Firefighters on the scene reported no abandoned vehicles along the right-hand shoulder that may have contributed to the fire.
To access the fire, firefighters and emergency personell had to use all three lanes of the highway, closing off all but one lane of traffic that was getting by in the left shoulder.
That caused back-ups on the outer loop of the Beltway into the P.M. rush hour.
A small fire broke out in a ceiling fan of the Starbucks at 4520 East-West Highway this morning, causing the evacuation of the office building above.
The fire was called in around 10:15 a.m. in the bathroom of the coffee shop. Workers in the office building at the corner of East-West Highway and Waverly Street streamed out into the plaza below.
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue put out the fire shorty after arriving and workers were headed back into the building around 10:30 a.m.
(UPDATE at 11:45 p.m.) All lanes of westbound Democracy Boulevard near Walter Johnson High School have been reopened and the truck, seen above, has been moved to a side street.
The truck, which sustained significant damage to the passenger cab, is being towed away.
Initial reports say a large dump truck fire is blocking all lanes on westbound Democracy Boulevard at Bells Mill Road, behind Walter Johnson High School.
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services are on the scene.
Fire Forces Evacuation of Home on Fernwood Road — Nobody was injured in a fire on Sunday afternoon that might have come from the garage in the home. Fire and Rescue officials are investigating. [More]
Major Company Considered, Passed On New Bethesda Office Space — The 4500 East West Highway office project almost had a major tenant in commercial satellite company Intelsat. But the company, operator of the largest fleet of commercial broadcast satellites in the world, passed on an aggressive incentive package from Montgomery County, possibly for lower rents in Northern Virginia. [Washington Business Journal]
Former Redskin Settles Into Life After Football At Landon — Former Washington Redskin All-Pro offensive lineman Tre Johnson tries to keep football talk to a minimum during classes with his freshmen students at the Landon School, the prestigious all-boys private school on Wilson Lane. [Washington Post]
Bethesda Brother-Sister Duo Donate Clothes to Sandy Victims — Abbi and Andrew Audas wanted to do more to help victims of Superstorm Sandy, so they set out on a campaign to collect clothing for delivery to hard-hit areas of New Jersey. [Washington Times]
Frosh Might Have Company in Attorney General Race — Bethesda/Chevy Chase State Sen. Brian Frosh last month revealed a long list of backers of his potential run for Maryland Attorney General in 2014. Last week, Del. Jon Cardin, of Owings Mills, announced his own Attorney General fundraiser. Cardin is the nephew of Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin. [Maryland Juice]
A fire that might have started in the garage of a house on the 9500 block of Fernwood Road left significant damage and forced occupants out on Sunday afternoon.
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services spokesman Capt. Scott Graham said people in the house smelled smoke in the garage and called 911. There were no injuries and the cause of the fire was under investigation as fire crews remained on scene Sunday evening.
The house sits along a private road on a hill above the Old Georgetown Swim Club, where crews were stationed to access the back of the house. A resident on the road said everybody in the house was fine.