Community Rallies For Displaced Family

WEST OCEAN CITY — The generous resort community is being called on again this week to rally in support of a local family displaced by an early morning fire at their West Ocean City home on Monday.

The greater Ocean City community has a great reputation for rallying the troops on behalf of local residents in their time of need and, unfortunately, another occasion to put that generosity to the test presented itself when a local family was displaced from their West Ocean City home by an early morning fire on Monday. Already, the Greene Turtle West, which has its 8th Annual Oyster Palooza and Shucking Contest set for this Sunday, has answered the call, along with Layton’s Family Restaurant on 16th Street, which also has an event planned on behalf of the family.

Around 5:30 a.m. on Monday, a fire was reported at a single-family residence on Riggin Ridge Rd. in West Ocean City. The Ocean City Fire Department responded, as did firefighting crews from Berlin, Ocean Pines and Showell, and the blaze was brought under control in about an hour, but not before the dwelling was completely destroyed.

The residence was occupied at the time by local residents Damon and Kim Deppe along with their four children. All of the family members were able to escape the fire unharmed, but most of their belongings were destroyed. The Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office investigated the fire and discovered it originated on a rear exterior deck and extended into the dwelling. The cause of the fire is listed as accidental and originated from a bonfire pit located on the rear deck.

In response to the unfortunate incident, the Greene Turtle in West Ocean City has stepped up and agreed to donate half of the proceeds of its annual oyster shucking contest this Sunday to support the Deppe family.

For the last seven years, some of the best oyster shuckers on the Eastern Shore have gathered for the annual event at the Greene Turtle in West Ocean City. The contest draws hundreds of oyster fans and typically thousands of icy, salty raw oysters are shucked and consumed, all in the name of a local charity.

The beneficiary of the event has always been the Worcester County Humane Society and that hasn’t changed. However, due to the unforeseen fire in West Ocean City this week, half of the proceeds will be donated to the Deppe family as they attempt to pick up the pieces after the fire.

The event kicks off at the Greene Turtle in West Ocean City on Sunday from 1-4 p.m. and includes oysters, oyster stew, munchies, beer specials, raffles and, of course, the famous shucking contest.

Meanwhile, another fixture on the local restaurant scene, Layton’s on 16th Street, has its own event planned for the benefit of the Deppe family.

On Wednesday, March 30, Layton’s will host a baked chicken dinner with a beverage and all of the appropriate side dishes for the benefit of the Deppe family. There will be no charge for the dinner, but donations for the family will be accepted. In addition, baked goods will be on sale with the proceeds going to the family. The event is set for 5-8 p.m.