Ocean Pines House Fire Ruled Accidental

Ocean Pines House Fire Ruled Accidental
Firefighters are pictured on the scene of a house fire in Ocean Pines last Wednesday. Officials say the blaze was caused by improperly discarded smoking materials. Photo Courtesy of Ocean Pines Volunteer Fire Department

OCEAN PINES – Officials say a closed door stopped a recent house fire in Ocean Pines from doing more damage.

At around 4:49 p.m. last Wednesday, the Ocean Pines Volunteer Fire Department (OPVFD) was dispatched for a reported house fire on Hickory Way. Upon arrival, crews reported smoke showing from the two-story single-family home.

Showell, Berlin, and Bishopville fire departments were requested to assist with the initial dispatch. OPVFD Chief Steve Grunewald was first on scene and advised of a two-story structure with smoke showing from the roof and requested an additional engine response from Ocean City.

Firefighters were quickly able to bring the fire, which originated in a second-floor bedroom, under control. A joint investigation was then conducted by the Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office, the Ocean Pines Police Department and the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Enforcement Team.

“The exact cause of the fire is considered accidental from improperly discarded smoking materials,” a news release from the fire marshal’s office reads. “Smoke alarms were present at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported.”

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In a statement last week, OPVFD Public Information Officer Lt. Joe Enste reported the owner of the residence was home at the time of the fire.

“They smelled and observed smoke coming from a bedroom on the second floor and quickly evacuated with their pet and called 911,” he said.

Officials say the incident demonstrated the importance of working smoke alarms and closed doors. While the home suffered smoke, heat and water damage, most of the fire damage was isolated to the second-floor bedroom because the door was closed.

“Closed doors and smoke alarms can make a significant difference when a fire breaks out,” Enste said. “Closing a bedroom door can help protect occupants from toxic smoke, heat, and flames during a fire. Additionally, smoke alarms should be located inside all bedrooms/sleeping areas as well as outside all sleeping areas. This will ensure that no matter if a fire starts behind a closed door or in a common area, occupants will be alerted quicker and have more time to evacuate.”

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.