On Friday, January 31, 2020 at approximately 7:27 pm, the Chestertown Volunteer Fire Company, along with mutual aid companies, was dispatched for the Structure Fire in the 100 block of Riverside Terrace. This is located downtown, off North Queen Street and North Water Street near the Chester River Bridge.
The street in this neighborhood is extremely narrow, which created somewhat of a challenge to get our equipment into. In order to make the turn from North Queen Street onto Riverside Terrace, our engine had to "jack" (back-up) several times in order to clear a parked car. The house itself was located back a narrow lane among a grouping of houses, well off Riverside Terrace. While these houses sport a Riverside Terrace address, the lane itself is historically known as Gretwood Lane. That street name has long fallen into disuse, does not show up on modern maps, and has been lost to all but our older Chestertown residents. It's doubtful most, if not all, of the residents now living in that neighborhood have ever heard that antiquated street name.
Upon our arrival, crews found a smoke condition in the dwelling. Because we had to leave the engine out on Riverside Terrace, we had to hand carry carry tools and ladders in by foot, and stretch a long hose from the engine. A detailed investigation found fire, involving structural components of the house, under a propane fireplace. As more of the situation was exposed, it became evident the fire was electrical in nature, and not related to the fireplace at all. Crews took their time and were very thorough, ensuring the fire was completely extinguished.
The homeowner was not displaced. We operarted at this incident for approximately 90 minutes. There were no injuries to civilians or emergency personnel.
Organizations operating at this incident:
Church Hill VFC
Kent & Queen Annes Rescue Squad
Kent County EMS
Chestertown Police Department
Photographs by the Chestertown VFC and may be used by the media.