Ethiopian man killed in Apartment fire in Silver Spring Maryland

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WASHINGTON — A sixth body has been found after a devastating fire and explosion at a Silver Spring apartment complex last week, Montgomery County police said Monday. Another missing person was found safe.

An explosion and fire occurred at the Flower Branch Apartments, on Piney Branch Road in Silver Spring, Aug. 10, 2016. See photos.
The sixth body was found after a fire and explosion at the four-story Flower Branch Apartments on Piney Branch Road last Wednesday night. More than 30 people were injured, including three firefighters.

Police investigators have not yet identified the six victims. The bodies have been transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for autopsy and possible identification.

Police believe that the six bodies found correspond to those on the list of people who were unaccounted for. The condition of the bodies has prevented authorities from making a positive identification thus far.

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Two children are included in those who are missing. They have been identified as 3-year-old Fernando Josu Hernandez and 9-year-old David Morales.

A missing couple has also been identified as Augusto Jimenez, 60, and Maria Castellon, 53, who lived together in apartment 103.

The fifth victim WUSA9 has identified is 61-year-old Saul Paniagua from apartment 101.

BeFunky Collage_1471191077988_5247483_ver1.0The other victims have been identified as Saeda Ibrahim, 41, Aseged Mekonen, 34, and Oscar Armando Ochoa, 55.

If you’ve seen any of these people or know any information, please contact police.

Following the fire and explosion, officials said there were eight people unaccounted for, but detectives were able to locate one of them, 55-year-old Oscar Armando Ochoa, and confirmed in person that he is unharmed. That reduces the number of missing to seven — with ages ranging from 3 to 66.

He told Montgomery County police he had moved from the apartments and was not there at the time of the fire. The lease information had not been updated to reflect his move.

About 100 people were displaced in the incident, officials said last week.

Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the blast; some residents reported smelling gas before the explosion.

Search efforts, and the investigation itself, have been slowed by consecutive days of 100-degree heat and high humidity, along with unsafe conditions at the site, where the building has been in danger of total collapse.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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