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Dwelling Fire - Montabellow Lake Road, Betterton

Sunday, January 15, 2023
On Saturday, January 14, 2023, at 6:41 am, the Chestertown Volunteer Fire Company, along with multiple other companies, was dispatched as mutual aid to the Betterton VFC, for the structure fire at 28840 Montabello Lake Road. This is located in Smithville, near the intersection of Smithville Road and Montabello Lake Road. 9-1-1 caller was reporting a fire in the laundry room.
A paramedic from Kent County EMS was the first to arrive, reporting smoke and visible fire from the rear of the house, and directed a status change to a “Working Fire Dispatch”. This designation adds additional resources to the incident. As this was a mutual aid call for the Chestertown VFC, our tanker was the first to respond from our station. Upon arrival of Tanker 6 (Chestertown), two 1-3/4” hose lines were deployed from it by firefighters from the Betterton VFC. The crews from Betterton made an aggressive interior attack, subsequently gaining a quick “knock-down” of the fire.
Faced with hoarding conditions and minimal staffing, a 2nd Alarm was requested to bring additional personnel to the incident. To establish an adequate water supply, our Rescue-Engine 6 set-up on a hydrant in Catt’s Corner, on Old Worton Road. At the same time, the Rescue-Engine from Galena VFC deployed a collapsible “fold-a-tank” at the intersection of Smithville Road & Montabello Lake Road. Using another engine as a supply piece, water was drafted from the fold-a-tank for use on the fire. A fold-a-tank is, in effect, a temporary reservoir. This reservoir was kept supplied via a tanker shuttle from the water source in Catt’s Corner.
Choptank Electric was requested to secure electric service to the house. The fire marshal was also requested. A representative from the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office responded. The clothes dryer was determined as the cause of the fire. There were no injuries because of this fire.
To assist those occupants displaced, the services of the American Red Cross was offered. However, the occupants declined. Family in the area would be assisting.
Companies / Agencies on the scene…
Betterton VFC
Chestertown VFC
Kennedyville VFC
Galena VFC
Rock Hall VFC
Crumpton VFC
Kent County Fire Police (traffic control)
Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office
Kent County Sheriffs Office
Choptank Electric
To maintain fire and life safety protection in Chestertown VFC first due district, equipment and personnel from the Church Hill VFC and Millington VFC stood by at our fire station. Our thanks to them for performing this mundane but necessary task. There were no subsequent calls for service while we were committed to this fire.
Photographs by the Chestertown VFC and Galena VFC. Media may use photographs with attribution. See the individual photographs for the appropriate company credit.

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