Fire Causes Major Damage to House in Kensington, Maryland

KENSINGTON, Md. (AP) -- A fire that started in the basement caused extensive damage to a house in Kensington, Md., Thursday, Montgomery County fire officials said.

No official cause has been determined. But Fire Department spokesman Pete Piringer said investigators believe the fire was electrical in nature and may have started in a power strip in a basement bedroom.

The fire at 11715 Ashley Drive quickly spread throughout the three-bedroom brick rambler, in part because the house was very cluttered, Piringer said. There also was no evidence of a smoke alarm in the house.

A 60-year-old woman and her 33-year-old son lived in the house and both got out safely. Piringer said the son apparently was awakened by heavy smoke and was able to alert his mother. A firefighter suffered minor injuries and was expected to be treated at a local hospital and released.

Damage was estimated at $200,000. The family has been displaced.