OCEAN CITY — Three weeks after a huge fire ravaged a midtown condominium building, the results of the investigation released this week leaves open more questions than answers.
Shortly before 6 p.m. on September 26, the Ocean City Fire Department responded to a reported residential fire at the Bradley on the Bay condo complex at 37th Street. First arriving units encountered heavy fire extending from one of the 15-unit buildings in the center of the complex. Because of the enormity of the blaze, firefighter quickly set up defensive tactics in an attempt to confine the fire and keep it from spreading to other buildings within 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 Ocean City firefighter suffered minor burns, but was treated at AGH and cleared to return to work. All five units on the third floor were destroyed and three units on the second floor suffered significant fire damage. All 15 units in the building suffered significant smoke and water damage.
This week, the Ocean City Fire Marshal’s Office issued a release on the investigation results, providing vague details on the cause and origin. According to the release, the fire originated on the south balcony in the area of Unit 313 although the cause of the fire is still classified as undetermined. In addition, improperly discarded smoking material and a possible electrical malfunction could not be ruled out as contributing factors.
Meanwhile, the relief effort on behalf of the displaced families continues. Immediately after the fire, the Bradley on the Bay Fire Relief Fund was set up with donations of clothes, furniture, toys and other items collected in addition to monetary contributions. As of mid-week, the relief effort had collected $4,500 for the victims.