Gaithersburg fire: Lancelot Quarshie, 4, killed
GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WJLA) - Marcus Wilson stands next to the mounds of charred pots and pans and lamps. He is unsure of what part of this melted mess belongs to him.
"Everything I have is in there...Everything,” he says.
Wilson is one of 40 residents who is now homeless after flames devoured 12 apartments total in just minutes at the Cider Mill Apartments.
"I don't even know here to go from here; I don't know what I've lost, what's left. I haven't been inside my apartment," says Wilson.
What he does know is that he shares a wall with the family that lost their 4-year-old son in the fire. Now, he shares their agony.
"I couldn't imagine leaving here without one of my kids."
Claudia Grana was one of the witnesses who watched the unimaginable unfold:
"They were screaming," she recalls. "They were saying 'fire' in Spanish and English and they were just telling people to get out, to evacuate."
But still inside one second floor apartment was a father with his four-year-old son, Lancelot Quarshie, and two-year-old daughter. Everyone was still asleep as the dad had worked overnight, and a neighbor says that the youngest was the first to wake – crying for her father.
He woke up and quickly scooped her up, racing into the apartment hallway that had filled with black smoke and running outside to the courtyard.
And according to a witness, that was the moment the fire got worse.
The father ran back in for his son, but the flames were so hot and the smoke was so thick that neighbors restrained him from going back in. All the while, they could hear the cries of his four-year-old son.
"He looked like he was just walking., he looked like he wasn't even paying attention to whoever was around him," says a witness.