Burning Tree Elementary School is asking for donations from the Bethesda community to help the more than 100 people displaced by a fire that gutted a Silver Spring apartment building on Tuesday.

Burning Tree has a sister school relationship with Broad Acres Elementary School, the school in Silver Spring where many of those displaced go.

“A number of families from Broad Acres Elementary School have been displaced. They have nothing — the kids came to school smelling of smoke and dressed in what they had been wearing when they evacuated — one kid was in his slippers,” wrote Thomas W. Pyle Middle School principal Chris Nardi in a letter to parents. Burning Tree Elementary feeds into Pyle.

Burning Tree is helping to collect clothing, gift cards and cash to help the displaced families. No one was seriously injured in the fire, which MCFRS says started when a mattress near an electrical outlet caught fire.

The mattress ignited and the flames quickly spread to the upper floors of the building via a pipe chase. The American Red Cross set up temporary operations at Long Branch Community Recreation Center for those displaced.

MCFRS estimated there was $1 million worth of damage to the building and another $500,000 to contents inside.

All donations should be directed to Burning Tree Elementary School at 7900 Beech Tree Rd. For more info, call the school at 301-320-6510.

(Thanks to Zoila Sanchez for the tip)

Flickr photo by MCFRS