OCEAN CITY — A little more than one week after a massive fire consumed the top floor of a midtown Ocean City condominium building last Wednesday, the investigation is ongoing and a cause has not been determined.
Shortly before 6 p.m. last Wednesday, the Ocean City Fire Department received a call about a residential fire at the Bradley on the Bay condo complex at 37th Street. Heavy fire and thick black smoke that could be seen from miles around extended from the third floor of one of the buildings in the center of the complex.
Six families, including nine adults and three children, occupied the building at the time of the fire, but all were able to escape unharmed. One firefighter suffered minor burns and was treated at an area hospital and later returned to rejoin the fight.
This week, there were more questions than answers as the investigation continued. The Ocean City Fire Marshal’s Office said on Wednesday the investigation is ongoing and no cause or origin had been determined. A meeting was scheduled for last Friday to determine the soundness and stability of the building, which suffered a complete loss of the third-floor units and considerable smoke and water damage on the floors below. The results of that meeting have not been made public. However, early in the week, cleanup crews were seen working at the burned building along with fire and smoke restoration crews, which suggests the building is salvageable.
Meanwhile, the relief efforts for the displaced residents set up almost immediately after the fire was finally extinguished last week continued to gain momentum this week. By early last Thursday morning, a Bradley on the Bay Fire Relief Fund was well underway thanks to the efforts of local resident Monica Hanshaw, a Fager’s Island server who worked with and knew many of the displaced victims and their families.
Throughout last weekend and into early this week, the local community responded to the crisis as it typically does and flooded designated drop-of sites throughout Ocean City and the entire resort area with clothing, furniture, toys, diapers and other supplies for the displaced victims. By mid-week, the Bradley on the Bay Fire Relief Fund said they were inundated with supplies and no further clothing or furniture, for example, were needed.
However, the relief fund continues to collect monetary donations, which will be split evenly among the victims who contacted the relief effort. Donations are being accepted at all Bank of Ocean City locations. In addition, donations can be made through the designated Pay Pal account at http://graywaterops.com/fire. Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services in Berlin is also a conduit for donations.