OCEAN CITY – Firefighters encountered a fire in the storage area of the Phillips Beach Plaza Hotel on 13th Street yesterday morning, resulting in the evacuation of the hotel and a minor injury to one firefighter.
Steve Price of the Ocean City Volunteer Fire Company reported yesterday that the call came in during the early morning hours, around 1:15 a.m. While the call was originally for an alarm activation in the building, it was quickly upgraded to a fire call.
“We had fire showing in the storage area on the ground level of the hotel,” recalled Price.
The hotel was evacuated as firefighters attended to the fire.
“We put out the fire out rather quickly,” said Price, adding that the presence of at least one sprinkler head within the storage room kept the fire under control. “It was a really good job by the sprinkler head. It prevented the fire from spreading out of the area.”
When asked whether the fire could have resulted in a more severe situation without the assistance of the sprinkler, Price said, “It certainly had the potential to do that.”
While the fire was put out relatively quickly, with damages contained to the storage area, significant smoke infiltrated the building. Firefighters remained on the scene until 4 a.m.
While there were no reported injuries to any civilians, one firefighter sustained minor injuries to his hand. Price reported that the firefighter had been treated and released from the hospital.
The origin and cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Fire Marshall’s office.
Hotel staff and patrons were eventually allowed back inside the establishment, after the area was deemed safe.