Fatal fire in Bethesda investigation continues

I-270

More details have begun to emerge regarding the fatal fire that took the lives of two Bethesda residents Wednesday morning.

Montgomery County fire crews arrived at Western Avenue to find a home already engulfed in flames.

Early reports identify the two victims found inside as Inge Randolph, 94, and her son John.

Investigators indicated that John was incapacitated while using a fire extinguisher and trying to escape with his mother.

Officials also said the situation could have gone differently had there been any active smoke alarms in the house.

“Investigators have been working all day,” said Montgomery County Fire and Rescue spokesman Pete Piringer. “They determined that the fire appears to have originated on the first floor living room area. They did have several competent sources of ignition that they haven’t ruled out so the exact cause of the fire has not been determined however it is believed to be accidental.”

Fire crews spent several hours Wednesday afternoon going to house to house in the area to speak with residents about the critical importance of updated and active smoke detectors.

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