Montgomery County families receive help after Gaithersburg blast and fire

Families displaced in the explosion and fire at a Maryland condominium complex have received $40,000 in funds, the first round of assistance in what Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich said will be part of ongoing efforts to help affected residents.

Families displaced in the explosion and fire at a Maryland condominium complex have received $40,000 in funds, the first round of assistance in what Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich said will be part of ongoing efforts to help affected residents.

The 50 residents of the Potomac Oaks condominium complex, including 10 children, will receive additional payments with money raised through the Montgomery Housing Partnership and other nonprofits, Elrich said.

During a Wednesday briefing, Elrich said the county and its nonprofit partners are working hard to ensure families are supported.

“So far they’ve already raised $100,000, and these residents need every dollar we can get them to get back on their feet,” he said.



Earl Stoddard, Montgomery County’s deputy chief executive, said all money raised will go directly to the families involved.

“Montgomery Housing Partnership takes no dollars — 100% of what goes into that fund goes to residents,” Stoddard said. As the fundraising effort continues, additional disbursements will be made.

In addition to cash assistance, county officials said condominium residents had access to food, mental health services and even had time with therapy dogs during a rescue event. Community Resources in Gaithersburg on Tuesday evening.

Montgomery County police said last week they were investigating the Nov. 16 explosion and fire as possible “foul play.” Police Chief Marcus Jones said the owner of a condo in the complex died in the fire and left a suicide note.

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“I encourage anyone who is thinking about suicide or knows someone who needs help to call 988″, it is the national suicide prevention lifeline number,” Elrich said, adding that Montgomery County also operates a 24-hour crisis center that can be reached at 240-777-4000.

Contributions for the victims of the fire are accepted here.

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