Heroic Actions Save Two From Berlin House Fire

Heroic Actions Save Two From Berlin House Fire
A raging residential fire is pictured last Thursday night in Berlin off Branch Street. Photo by Steve Green

BERLIN — Two people, including a 6-year-old girl, were rescued by first responders from their burning home last Thursday in Berlin.

Units of the Berlin Police Department were first to respond to a residential fire on Branch Street in Berlin around 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 17. Police immediately determined two individuals were trapped inside, and responding officers noticed a child’s hand visible through a window. Two Berlin police officers forcibly entered the residence and were able to remove the child through the window. The child was then turned over to the Berlin Fire Company emergency responders.

Officers alerted firefighters there was an adult female still inside and gave her last known location in the house. The girl’s mother, 31-year-old Tocarra Derrickson, was trapped on the second floor initially. Her location was reported because personnel on the ground caught a visual of her while she was on the phone with 911.

Derrickson eventually collapsed but was rescued and removed by fire personnel, who had to use their axes reportedly to escapeHeroic2 from the burning home. She was seen being treated on the scene and rushed to Atlantic General Hospital before being admitted to Bayview Burn Center in Baltimore where she is listed in stable condition.

Two Berlin police officers were also transported to AGH for inhalation of smoke and two Berlin Fire Company firefighters were transported to AGH and treated for injuries and released.

Property records indicate the home is owned by Gerald and Marcelle Derrickson, who have lived there since 1984. Their daughter, the fire victim, and her two children, ages 8 and 6, also reside at the house. Only the victim and her 6-year-old daughter were home at the time of the fire.

The fire is under investigation by the Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office.

Firefighters from Berlin, Showell, Ocean City, Ocean Pines and Newark responded to the alarm. The investigation is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call 410-632-5666.