Photo credit: CHRIS PARYPA PHOTOGRAPHY
On Sunday, September 15, 2013, at approximately 2:25 p.m., Ocean City Communications received a call for a house fire in the area of 94th Street on the bayside. Ocean City Fire Department personnel responded to the home, which was a three unit townhouse, and found fire coming from the building upon their arrival.
Initial witness reports indicated that the fire began on the exterior of the structure and rapidly consumed the vinyl siding and porches on the front of the units before burning into the attic area, which is unsprinklered as allowed by code. The fire then extended into the attics with significant damage to the roof and upper rooms of all three units.
The occupied portions of the building were fully protected by a residential, automatic sprinkler system, designed for occupant safety. This system, which functioned as designed, kept the bulk of the fire at bay on the exterior of the structure until the Fire Department’s arrival and quick extinguishment.
“Only limited fire damage was evident to the interior of the first and second floor rooms,” said Ocean City Fire Marshal David Hartley. “Although the structure was unoccupied at the time of the fire, had the occupants been inside, they could have safely evacuated from the rear exit of the structure.”
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. Anyone with photographs or video of the fire prior to the arrival of the Fire Department is asked to contact the Ocean City Fire Marshal’s Office at 410-289-8780.
On Saturday September 28, 2013, the Town of Ocean City’s Emergency Services Department will be conducting a hazardous materials exercise at the Coast Guard Station on Wicomico Street. This exercise will rehearse the response of local, state, and federal agencies to a simulated 3000 gallon fuel leak into the bay after the detonation of an explosive device.
The Town of Ocean City Emergency Services would like to invite the media to participate directly in the event. Participation from media outlets will help Ocean City to evaluate protocols in disseminating information to the media in a timely and proficient manner. “We are hoping our local media outlets will participate in this exercise,” said Ocean City Emergency Services Director Joseph Theobald. “Participation will involve ways to allow media better access to unfolding events while also helping Ocean City to evaluate protocols in disseminating information to the media in a timely and proficient manner.”
The simulation starts with a briefing at 8 a.m., with the exercise taking place between 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Agencies involved will include the Ocean City Fire Department, the Ocean City Police, Ocean City and Worcester County Emergency Management, the Salisbury Fire Department, the Maryland State Police Dive Team, the United States Coast Guard, Delaware Hazmat Response, and the Ocean City Crisis Communication Team.
For more information about the exercise or to find out how you can participate, please contact Colin Orsini at 410.726.6616.