By Greg Ellison
(June 3, 2021) A raging house fire that erupted just after 10 p.m. Tuesday at 301 Ocean Parkway in Ocean Pines drew multiple fire companies to the scene and ultimately displaced nine occupants from the residence who all escaped unharmed.
Worcester County Fire Marshal Jeffrey McMahon, whose office investigated the cause, said in a statement the blaze was attributable to “juvenile fire play.”
Ocean Pines Fire Chief Steve Grunewald said the department received numerous calls about the blaze at the two-story waterfront property which had grown to a massive state when first responders appeared on the scene.
“When we arrived, heavy fire was showing on all four sides of the house,” he said.
Four adults and five children, ages 2, 4, 8, 10 and 12, made it out of the structure without harm.
Adjacent homes on either side of the waterfront property received exterior damage from the fire.
Grunewald said one Ocean Pines firefighter suffered a leg injury and was taken to Atlantic General Hospital before being released.
Grunewald said volunteer fire companies from Berlin, Showell, Bishopville and Ocean City assisted the Ocean Pines department, whose firefighters arrived shortly after receiving the alarm to find the wooden-sided house fully engulfed in flames.
“We actually had Ocean City’s fire boat assisting with fighting fire on the back of the house,” he said.
“The amount of fire that was already in the house was just incredible,” he said. “It had plenty of fuel to get it going.”
Grunewald said crews took the better part of two hours to contain the fire.
Fire officials caution residents to confirm their home is equipped with functional smoke detectors.
The Harmon family was taken to the Ocean Pines South Fire Station and assisted by the American Red Cross.
By the following day, Ocean Pines neighbors began soliciting clothing donations and funding to support the family.
Donations can be dropped off at the Sports Core Pool, Ocean Pines Public Works.
Additionally, a Facebook fundraising page was started by Lisa Layfield with a benchmark of $10,000.
To learn more or lend support visit www.facebook.com/donate/171207204945854/