BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Montgomery County police have released body-cam video of the explosion and fire at an apartment complex and the frantic actions to save lives.
Seven people were killed in the blast in the building in Silver Spring.
Eight months after an apartment explosion rocked Silver Spring, first responders are now being recognized for saving lives.
The newly-released video gives a whole new perspective of the chaos that unfolded in Silver Spring back in August. It was an event that impacted 70 families, and first responders forever.
“It looked like the sky had cracked open and was just billowing smoke.”
On August 11, a natural gas explosion at Flower Branch Apartments in Silver Spring ignited a devastating blaze that would take seven lives, including two children.
Officer Jeffrey Hughes with Montgomery County Police was the first one there.
“So I ran up to the building. The stairwell was gone,” says Officer Hughes. He ran into the burning building to help, while on the phone with the panicked property manager.
“I get a little choked up because it’s hard to explain on the phone to someone whose asking if their uncle is okay when I’m looking and I see his car there and I know he’s a victim,” says officer Hughes.
Hughes was one of dozens of officers, firefighters, and other rescuers honored on Friday. There’s nothing left from where the building stood eight months ago. But for those who were there the night of the explosion, the memories are hard to forget.
Firefighter and Baltimore native David Braun kept going even after a serious shoulder injury.
“A situation like that, I felt like muscle memory had just taken over and I was kind of working outside of my body,” says Braun.
Nearly 40 people hurt in the frantic escape. But for many, their lives spared — by the bravery of those who rushed in.
Both Braun and Officer Hughes were both awarded Medals of Valor by the chamber of commerce for their heroic actions.
Since the explosion, dozens of lawsuits have been filed against the apartment management company and Washington Gas. Some have already been settled; two were filed Thursday.