Early-Morning Blaze Claims Maryland Couple

KENSINGTON, Md. --

An early-morning fire has killed an elderly couple in Kensington, Md., including a woman who was confined to a wheelchair.

Fire officials said the fire started around 2 a.m. in the 3900 block of Baltimore Avenue.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services spokesman Pete Piringer said investigators believe the fire, which took the life of an elderly man and his wife, started in the kitchen area of the house.

Piringer said investigators believe 88-year-old Oskar Reynolds was attempting to assist his 84-year-old wheelchair-bound wife, Patricia, when neighbors heard the man calling out for help and called 911.

"One neighbor who lived behind the house came and kicked down the front door and was able to get in the house, but the back of the house was pretty well involved in fire and the man was driven back by the heat and smoke," Piringer said.

The man and his wife were found in the back section of the house, Piringer said.

The man who attempted to help the couple was treated and released at a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, Piringer said. And two firefighters received minor injuries.

Investigators are still looking for what started the fire, but Piringer said it's believed to be accidental.

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