MARYLAND

Edward Mager killed in Silver Spring fire

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A mother led her children to safety after their Silver Spring apartment complex caught fire early Tuesday. The accidental blaze at 415 Silver Spring Avenue left one man dead and several injured. 

Photo by Diane G. Robertson

Samrawit Wogaso was still shaking hours later.

“Of course I am because I saw the fire and it was burning like something and it was scary,” Wogaso says. 

She lives doors down from where the flames began.

“The screaming was loud,” she says.

Wogaso opened her apartment door and saw smoke and the fire.

“I told my daughters there is a fire and they start screaming.”

Her 5 and 8-year-old daughters were frantic. Other residents on her floor escaped to their balconies. She opened a window, but jumping from the sixth floor was not an option.

With no time left and the fire growing, she decided she would try to crawl through the thick black smoke to the stairs. She had to get her children out.
“I just told them to kneel down and I told them, ‘Don’t open your mouths, don’t shout, don’t do anything, just follow me,’” she says.

They made it out unharmed, but others weren’t as fortunate. While firefighters escorted several down onto ladder trucks, four residents had to be hospitalized, including a 6-year-old child. Edward Mager, 63, who lived in the apartment where the fire started, died hours later. 

The fire caused about $400,000 in damages. This is the second fire fatality in the county this year.

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