At 2:48 am on Thursday, July 23, 2020 the Chestertown Volunteer Fire Company was dispatched as mutual aid to the 300 block of Clannihan Shop Road, Centreville, Queen Annes County for the working structure fire. The fire company of record was the Good Will Volunteer Fire Company of Centreville.
The Chestertown VFC responded with Engine 6, Engine 68, Tower 6, Tanker 6 and 10 personnel. First arriving Centreville equipment found a large implement barn containing mechanized farm equipment. The structure was 100% involved with fire and has been deemed a total loss. Chestertown VFC supported the firefighting operation by participating in the water supply operation. From a nearby farm pond, water was shuttled to the fire scene via fire company tankers. Chestertown VFC also provided manpower for the labor-intensive operation of overhaul.
Overhaul is the process where every last ember and pocket of fire is ferreted out and extinguished. As a farm building, this structure used corrugated tin as roofing material. When a structure with tin is involved with heavy fire, it quickly collapses. As the corrugated tin is impervious to water, it shields fire from hose streams. In order to get at these hidden pockets of fire, each sheet must be removed by hand. In the vernacular of the fire service, we call this “Pulling Tin”. Using Pike Poles, a.k.a. Hooks, each, individual sheet of tin is speared then dragged by hand outside the perimeter of the fire building. It can be laborious and backbreaking. It’s also very necessary to get at the fire.
Chestertown VFC personnel operated at this incident for just under three hours. There were no injuries to Chestertown VFC personnel.
Photographs by the Chestertown VFC and Church Hill VFC. The media may use photographs with proper attribution. Credits can be found on the individual pages for each photograph.