ROCKVILLE, Md (WDVM) – Over 85 firefighters responded Saturday night to a townhouse fire in Rockville.
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue reports units were dispatched to the 10100 block of Sterling Terrace around 11:20 p.m.
Firefighters reportedly encountered the fire in the lower levels of the house as it spread upward.
Inside of the townhouse were Antoun and Sabah Moussa along with their two grandchildren. They were initially unaware the fire had even started, as they were on the top floor.
Luckily, a neighbor across the street sprang into action.
Neighbor George Totoreanu ran into the building, and was able to get the residents out of the home before it was too late.
“He ran across the street in his slippers and got involved,” MCFRS Spokesperson Pete Piringer said. “In this case, we believe he saved some lives.”
A second alarm was called around 12:30 p.m. as units brought the fire under control.
“What we believe happened is the fire started in the garage and actually burned on the exterior – burned up into the attic space,” Piringer said.
Michel Moussa, who’s parents own the home, said they were lucky to have Totoreanu as their neighbor.
“We’re incredibly thankful, and we’re definitely going to visit them,” Moussa said. “I know my brother’s going to come back, the father of those kids, and thank them personally as well.”
Moussa said his family is overwhelmed by the incident, but are just focusing on getting back on their feet and picking up the pieces.
“You’re sort of in a position, like how are they ever going to start over from this?” Moussa said. “But I guess we just need to take it one step at a time.”
The cause of the fire has not been officially determined, and the damage to all three townhomes is estimated to be over $2.2 million,