SILVER SPRING, Md. - Two young boys are among those missing after a fiery explosion ripped through a Silver Spring apartment complex that started late Wednesday night.
The explosion at Flower Branch Apartments on Piney Branch Road left two dead, multiple people injured and several others missing. Many residents have lost everything they owned and others have lost family members who are either passed away or missing.
According to Montgomery County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein, fire crews were called to the apartment complex for reports of an explosion and fire shortly before midnight.
People who live in the apartments said the explosion came out of nowhere. When they realized the building was engulfed in flames, it was hard to escape because they were surrounded by smoke and debris. Many people had to jump from balconies and even pass children down from one floor to another in order to save them.
Some of the most terrifying moments were experienced by the families of the young boys who are missing. While authorities do not have an exact number of the people currently missing after this fire, two people who have been reported missing are 8-year-old David Laines and another 3-year-old boy.
Laines' mother, Rosibel Morales, said she thought it was a dream. The entire apartment collapsed on top of her and when she realized it wasn’t a dream, she immediately thought of her 8-year-old son and tried to grab him. But there was a hole in the ground caused by the explosion and she wasn’t able to hang on to him. She hasn’t seen him since.
Neighbors of the missing 3-year-old said he disappeared in a similarly terrifying way. Both families lived on higher floors of the building and the explosion left behind craters.
The families are devastated, but they are also holding out hope. They ask that if anyone has seen their children to contact 311, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue or Montgomery County police.
If you are looking for ways to help the families, click here.