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.