OCEAN CITY- The Ocean City Fire Marshal’s Office this week is seeking the public’s assistance with any information regarding a suspicious early morning fire at a downtown cottage last Friday in an area that has seen a handful of residential fires in the last year or so.
Around 12:35 a.m. on Thursday, a police officer on patrol in the downtown area observed smoke coming from the area of St. Louis Ave. Ocean City Communications quickly dispatched Ocean City fire personnel who arrived on the scene and extinguished the fire at 19 St. Louis Ave. The building was unoccupied at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported for firefighters or civilians. Fire crews remained on the scene for several hours extinguishing hot spots with the structure’s walls and floors.
According to Ocean City Communication Manager Jessica Waters, last Friday’s fire at the downtown cottage on St. Louis Ave. does not appear to have started naturally, which makes the cause of the fire suspicious.
The Ocean City Fire Marshal’s Office is urging anyone who was walking or driving along St. Louis Ave between 10 p.m. last Thursday and 12:30 a.m. last Friday who might have crucial information that could assist in determining the cause of the fire to contact the agency at (410) 289-8765. Callers may remain anonymous.
The fire at St. Louis Ave. near 1st Street was the most recent in a string of similar fires over the last year or so, dating back to a major fire last winter at the former de Lazy Lizard Brew Pub site and a couple more at private residences in the area. At this point, no link has been reported between those fires and last Friday’s fire although they remain under investigation.
Around 7:30 a.m. on Friday, Ocean City firefighters were again called into service for a reported fire at the Cara Mar condo on Wight Street in the area of 123rd Street. The building was quickly evacuated with just two individuals living at the condo at the time. OCFD personnel were able to extinguish the fire quickly and the scene was cleared about a half an hour later at around 8 a.m. The cause of that fire is also being investigated by the Ocean City Fire Marshal’s Office.