Update: Fire damages Urbana townhouses

·1 min read

Jul. 14—Fire crews were battling a fire Thursday afternoon at a row of townhouses in Urbana.

One house, at 9661 Ethan Ridge Drive, was charred and had flames coming through the roof. A firefighter on a ladder truck was pulling apart the roof to get at the fire.

The roof and trunk of a silver car in the driveway had melted.

The fire spread to neighboring homes, at 9663 and 9559 Ethan Ridge Drive, north of Fingerboard Road.

Josh Wright, 17, who lives at 9663 Ethan Ridge Drive, said he saw smoke from the window of his home and bolted outside to escape.

No injuries were reported to residents or firefighters.

Carmen Otero-Velez de Pires, who lives at 9667 Ethan Ridge Drive, said she and her husband saw smoke coming from the car in front of 9661 Ethan Ridge Drive when they got home after running errands. She called 911.

Frederick County Fire Chief Tom Coe said the call for the fire came in at about 2:25 p.m. The fire was under control within about 30 minutes, he said.

About 35 units and about 100 firefighters responded to the call, according to Coe.

A tangle of firehoses was in the road.

Residents gathered at a park across the street to watch crews fight the fire. Once the fire was substantially under control, observers applauded.

Urbana Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jim May said firefighters evacuated the first floor of the house, for their safety, when there was significant damage to that floor.

This story will be updated.

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