SILVER SPRING, Md. (WDVM) — An explosion and fire racked Silver Spring on Thursday that rendered three apartment buildings unlivable, injured many, and displaced even more. Friday morning, officials held a press conference to share what they have learned in the past day.

A total of 14 people were transported or injured after the fire at Friendly Gardens Apartments on the 2400 block of Lyttonsville Rd. Of these people, three were in serious condition, while the rest were in minor or moderate condition.

Two of these people self transported, while another left the scene, went to work, and then called 911 and was transported.

The explosion displaced more people than anticipated after a transformer was damaged in the explosion. Officials said that around 230 people are without a home after they were unable to provide electricity to the buildings that are safe to live in — they had previously only expected around 100 people to be displaced.

All known residents of 2405, the building the explosion was in, have been contacted and accounted for, but investigators are still working to confirm if there were any visitors or others who are not residents inside the building.

A property maintenance worker was also in the building from property management at the time of the explosion. This worker was injured and is still at an area hospital.

Officials said that the working theory is that ongoing maintenance led to the explosion, but there are other theories and this has not yet been confirmed. Chief Goldstein also said that 2 K-9 that sniff for human remains were alerted, so they are working to figure out if there is a victim in the rubble. 

There had previously been a fire inspection at the buildings on Feb. 2 as well as a triannual inspection in Nov. 2021. Both of these inspections did not show any issues.

Funds to help those who have been displaced have passed $220,000. Most have found a place to stay with family and friends instead of staying in a shelter.

The investigation is ongoing and could take up to three days. Fire and rescue crews will continue working throughout the day to go through the debris pile and the building to find the cause of the explosion as well as to confirm that no unknown people were in the building.