OCEAN CITY — A north-end Ocean City condominium was significantly damaged in a massive fire on Wednesday morning when a generator in a work truck in the parking garage exploded and the blaze spread quickly through the five-story building.
Around mid-morning on Wednesday, Ocean City firefighters, along with personnel from the OCPD and Public Works department responded to the Pelican Beach condominiums on the beach between 139th and 140th Streets after several citizens reported a structure fire with heavy black smoke. As first responding units arrived, an active fire was observed on the first-floor parking garage and second-floor residential units of the five-story building.
The fire had also spread to the dune area on the east side of the property. Responding personnel reported hearing the sounds of explosions coming from the first-floor parking garage. The investigation revealed a generator in the back of a work truck in the parking garage had exploded, setting fire to the building. When firefighters and first-responders arrived, the fire had spread to all floors of the five-story building as thick black smoke poured from the condo’s east side.
There were three maintenance workers who were working on the roof at the time the fire began, but otherwise, the multi-unit building was unoccupied at the time of the blaze. The roofers were able to evacuate the building unharmed before the arrival of the fire department and no other injuries were reported.
The fire was brought under control within an hour of the OCFD’s arrival on the scene although the frigid temperatures and gusty winds created challenges. The building experienced significant damage to the exterior on the east side as well as the interior of two units. Firefighters remained on the scene for several hours into late Wednesday afternoon. As of late Wednesday, the cause of the fire was under investigation by the Ocean City Fire Marshal’s Office although early indications point to the exploding generator in the back of the work truck in the parking garage.