On The Job: Maryland

On Wednesday, June 30, 2010, a two-alarm fire destroyed a historic commercial building in downtown Frederick, MD. Although the fire department did not have an adequate pre-plan of the site at the time of the incident, firefighters contained the blaze to...


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The Frederick County Fire Marshal’s Office investigated the origin and cause of the fire. Investigators determined that a refrigerator located on the first floor malfunctioned. Damage was estimated at $2.5 million.

Among the lessons learned at this incident:

  • Problems – At the time of the incident, the department did not have an adequate pre-plan of the building, including a standard operating procedure (SOP) for apparatus placement. The department is doing additional pre-planning of existing structures in its first-due area and reviewing SOPs regarding apparatus assignment and positioning.
  • Successes – The fire was contained to the building of origin by the use of proper firefighting strategies and the use of an effective command structure. There were no firefighter or civilian injuries.