Ocean Pines House Fire Under Investigation

Ocean Pines House Fire Under Investigation
What remains of an Ocean Pines home after Sunday's fire is pictured. Photo courtesy of Ocean Pines Volunteer Fire Department

OCEAN PINES – The cause of a Sunday house fire in Ocean Pines remains under investigation this week.

At around 4:24 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 13, the Ocean Pines Volunteer Fire Department was alerted to a residential structure fire at 79 Clubhouse Drive. While there were initial reports that occupants could be trapped, Worcester Central advised that all occupants were out of the house with one person unconscious.

Additional responses were requested from the Berlin, Bishopville, Ocean City, Showell, Selbyville and Frankford fire departments. Ocean Pines Fire Chief Steve Grunewald, who was first on the scene, established command and confirmed heavy fire in the garage had extended to the house, vehicles in the driveway, and a neighboring home.

“When I first got there the front of the house was well involved with fire on the roof,” he said in an interview Monday.

Upon arrival, the crew from Ocean Pines Engine 1102 immediately placed an attack line in service while simultaneously establishing a water supply and deploying a secondary line to protect the neighboring homes, a news release reads.  Ocean Pines and Showell EMS units tended to the occupants of the home.

“The Red Cross is working with the family,” Grunewald said this week. “But there were no injuries.”

Officials say initial efforts to extinguish the fire where made more challenging by the collapse of the roof over the garage, arching electrical wires in the garage and two vehicles in the driveway that were also on fire. As neighboring departments arrived, crews began additional extinguishment and ventilation efforts while also working to secure power to both vehicles.

“One thing that created a bit of trouble was that Clubhouse Drive is very narrow,” Grunewald said. “With our equipment it was difficult, but we were able to adapt and overcome that.”

In an interview this week, Grunewald recognized the efforts of responding volunteer and career firefighters, who were able to limit the bulk of the fire damage to the initial home, with only exterior damage to one neighboring home. With the fire under control, crews remained on scene for an extended period completing overhaul.

“Without mutual aid it’s hard to do it by ourselves,” he said.

Assisting units on the scene included Ocean Pines Engine 1102, Special Ops 11, Command 11, 1100 A2, and FP 11, as well as apparatus from Berlin, Showell, Ocean City, Bishopville, Frankford and Selbyville fire departments, Ocean Pines Police Department, Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland State Police, Ocean City Emergency Management, the Red Cross and the Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office.

The fire department reports that the scene was turned over to the Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office for further investigation into the cause of the fire.

In the meantime, the Ocean Pines Volunteer Fire Department is reminding citizens that working smoke detectors save lives and that detectors need to be replaced every 10 years. The age of a smoke detector can be found by removing them from the wall or ceiling and looking at the back of the alarm for the date of manufacture.

“The OPVFD would like to thank all our neighboring departments who assisted us today on scene as well as covered our stations during the incident,” a news release reads, “and to our administrative members who provided a canteen for the duration of the incident.”

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.