Two-alarm fire forces couple to jump from second story window to safety

Townhome fire on Oriole Place in Gaithersburg. Photo courtesy: Pete Piringer, Montgomery County Fire & Rescue.

GAITHERSBURG, Md. – When Troy Lipscomb was awakened Thursday morning by a pounding on the door no one was sure what was going on.

He ran from where he was sleeping a few doors down to the backyard of his townhome on Oriole Place and found something horrifying.

“It looked like the sun,” said Lipscomb.

The townhome where he lives was occupied by his mother and stepfather and already engulfed in flames. Both were sent to the hospital with undisclosed injuries following the early morning fire.

The pair were able to jump from the second floor of the building after waking up to the smell of smoke around 4:45 a.m.

They initially tried the door of the room but found it was too hot and decided going out the window was the safest route to safety.

“They were like, ‘Okay, there’s fire in the house and they moved the fan out of the window and they jumped out the window,” said Lipscomb.

Firefighters commended the couple for having the foresight to close their bedroom door before going to bed. They said closing the door not only helped contain the fire and keep it out of the bedroom long enough to help them escape but the door also proved to be a warning sign that leaving the home through the front door was not an option.

A Montgomery County firefighter, one of about 90 called to the scene for the two-alarm blaze, was also rushed to the hospital with undisclosed injuries.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is underway.
The fire also destroyed two other units leaving a total of three families temporarily without a home.