Credit: Via Pete Piringer/Twitter

Updated 10:30 a.m. May 2: Firefighters worked for hours to extinguish a blaze in Bethesda after smoke erupted from a home’s attic Tuesday afternoon.

About 85 firefighters responded to a house on the 5900 block of Searl Terrace at about 3:30 p.m., Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service spokesman Pete Piringer said. Heavy smoke was visible coming out of the roof.

One family was displaced. The residents were alerted by a fire alarm and got out of the house without injuries, Piringer said.

It took firefighters nearly an hour to get the fire under control, and several more hours to fully extinguish pockets of fire that had gotten into void spaces in the house, he said. 

The fire started after painters used a blowtorch to remove paint from the roof. Flames had spread into the attic and weren’t noticed for some time. 

Piringer said it’s not recommended to use a blowtorch that way and that paint, wood and fire are a “dangerous combination.”

“Obviously, anytime you use an open flame for anything, you have to use caution,” he said Wednesday.

There was heat and heavy smoke on the third floor of the house, but the fire was mostly confined to the attic and roof.

It caused about $800,000 in damage: $600,000 to the structure and $200,000 to contents of the house, Piringer said.