Bethesda house badly damaged in fire

UPDATED: Bethesda house fire causes about $650K in damage

Elgin Lane fire on Thursday started in or around pool vacuum pump, according to official

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A house on Elgin Lane in Bethesda was badly damaged in a fire on Thursday.

Photos from Pete Piringer

This story was updated at 10:20 a.m. July 3, 2020, with additional information.

A Bethesda house was badly damaged in a fire on Thursday afternoon.

The fire was reported at about 4:45 p.m. at 6535 Elgin Lane, off Pyle Road, near River Road.

Pete Piringer, a spokesman for Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service, posted on Twitter that the fire was “gas fed.” The cause and the origin were a pool vacuum pump near a gas meter, he wrote.

A pool heater, pump, filter and vacuum pump for the pool were in the area, he wrote.

As fire crews were on the way, neighbors reported that no one was in the house, Piringer said. Two adults living there were displaced and were not home at the time.

Crews saw heavy smoke and fire when they arrived. Before firefighters entered the house, there was an explosion inside because of gas buildup, “causing windows & sliders to blow out & exterior walls to buckle,” Piringer wrote in a followup tweet.

The split-level single-family house had “pretty significant damage,” Piringer said in a video from the scene. Later, on Twitter, he estimated the damage at about $650,000.

About 85 firefighters responded to the call. Most were from Montgomery County and some were from Fairfax County, Va.

Piringer posted on Twitter that the bulk of the fire was knocked down in about 20 minutes.

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