On Wednesday, May 19, 2021 at 2 pm, along with multiple mutual aid companies, the Chestertown Volunteer Fire Company was dispatched to 400 Hadaway Drive, Ridgeview Court Apartments, for the structure fire. One of our assistant chief’s, in the area via private vehicle, was the first to arrive. His BIR (Brief Initial Report) reported smoke showing from a possible kitchen fire.
Our first engine dropped an LDH (Large Diameter Hose) supply line from the closest fire hydrant (across the street on Hadaway Drive) and laid into the apartment complex. The crew from that engine deployed a 300-foot 1-3/4” hose line to an apartment on the top floor of a 3-story, Garden-Style Apartment building. When they gained access to the apartment unit, they were met with a heavy smoke condition causing low visibility. There was not a significant amount of heat. They quickly located a fairly significant fire in the kitchen, emanating from the kitchen range, and the area immediately around it. They achieved a quick “knock-down”, our vernacular for extinguishing the fire. There was little overall damage to the kitchen. To check for extension, i.e., fire spread, our crews used hand tools to open the ceiling above and the wall behind the range. Finding no extension, and little other damage, the crew then effected smoke removal from the apartment.
There was no one living in the apartment, as it had been recently vacated. Preparing the unit to be leased, a cleaning crew was there. They had activated the self-cleaning feature of the range, which subsequently malfunctioned. With no damage to the rest of the building, the residents of the other apartments were permitted to return to their units. Notification only was made to the Maryland State Fire Marshals Office.
There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters.
Our appreciation extended to the Sudlersville VFC for standing by at out our station while we wrapped up this incident.
Organizations dispatched to this incident…
Church Hill VFC
Millington VFC (The Community Volunteer Fire Company of Millington, Maryland)
Rock Hall VFC
Sudlersville VFC (relocated to fill-in our fire station)