EARLEVILLE — An investigation is continuing after a blaze ripped through a multi-purpose building at a marina in Earleville on Tuesday morning, causing an estimated one million dollars in damage to the structure and its contents and injuring one firefighter, according to the Maryland Office of the State Fire Marshal.
A passerby called 911 at 6:32 a.m. after discovering the burning building at Long Point Marina, which is located in the 100 block of Kitty Knight Boulevard and fronts the Bohemia River, fire officials reported.
Approximately 50 firefighters with volunteer fire companies from Cecil, Kent and New Castle (Del.) Counties battled the blaze for about 45 minutes, before bringing it under control, fire officials said. Hacks Point Volunteer Fire Company served as the on-scene command unit, fire officials added.
“When we arrived, it was mainly just smoke showing. No fire was visible from the outside,” said Cecilton Volunteer Fire Chief Jason Reamy, who estimated that the building is 50’-by-100’ and houses a lobby, offices and restrooms on the main level and a workshop, garage and storage space on the lower level.
A Middletown (Del.) Volunteer Fire Company firefighter suffered non-life-threatening injuries when debris struck him in the back and neck during a partial floor collapse, which occurred while he was inside the building’s main level battling the blaze, Reamy reported.
A CVFC ambulance crew transported the injured firefighter to Christiana Hospital in Delaware, according to Reamy.
The building’s main level and attic sustained smoke and fire damage, while the lower level sustained mainly water damage, according to Reamy.
MOSFM detectives were dispatched to the scene and, as of Tuesday afternoon, their investigation was continuing.
“We have a team of state fire marshals at the scene, and we are trying to determine the origin (starting point) and cause of the fire,” said Sr. Deputy State Fire Marshal Oliver J. Alkire, who serves as an agency spokesman and a fire detective.
Alkire was among the MOSFM fire detectives on scene. He and his specially-trained scent dog had been dispatched to assist in the investigation, Alkire told the Cecil Whig.
“This is standard operating procedure. It was done for precautionary reasons, due to the high dollar amount of damage to the structure,” Alkire commented, explaining why a K-9 unit was dispatched to the scene.
As of late Tuesday afternoon, investigators still were trying to pinpoint where the fire started and determine what caused it.