A Rockville early childhood education center was heavily damaged by fire Sunday night, leaving its students without a school to attend Monday morning.

The cause of the fire is unclear, but started at 8:15 p.m. in the area of the administration office of the Georgetown Hill Early School and Woodley Gardens Swim Club, causing about $750,000 in damages, according to officials.

The school was closed on Monday, but Georgetown Hill’s CEO Peter Cromwell said in a message to families late Sunday night affected students could attend its Montgomery Square location on Falls Road in Potomac.

“Please know that we will be summoning all our Georgetown Hill resources and reaching out to the community for help in minimizing the disruption to our families and staff,” Cromwell said. We will keep you informed of developments as we learn them and plans as we make them. Thank you for your understanding and support during this time.”

About 100 firefighters had the fire extinguished by 10 p.m., but part of the building’s roof had collapsed and much of the building sustained heavy smoke and water damage. No injuries were reported.

The Georgetown Hill Early School at 850 Nelson St., opened in 1999 and expanded in 2008, according to the school’s website.


A nonprofit, Georgetown Hill Early School offers programs for infants and pre-kindergarten students, as well as before- and after-school programs and summer camps.

Georgetown Hill has seven locations in Potomac, Rockville, Darnestown, Montgomery Village, Bethesda and Riverdale.

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at