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Building Fire - Worton Road, Worton

Friday, May 3, 2024
On Thursday, May 2, 2024, at 5:51 pm, the Chestertown VFC, and multiple mutual aid companies were dispatched for the structure fire at 10200 Worton Road, Creafill Fibers. At 6:08 pm, a Working Fire dispatch was made, which brings additional resources to the scene.
As we had personnel in the station at the time of dispatch, our Rescue-Engine 6 responded one minute later, at 5:52 pm. Rescue-Engine 6 was the first to arrive at 5:58 pm. They encountered significant smoke showing from the entire processing building. It was learned there had been a dust explosion involving a piece of equipment, followed by a fire that spread into the roof and the adjacent wall. After a thorough assessment of the situation, it was determined additional resources were needed. That’s when the Working Fire Dispatch was requested. While additional engines bringing manpower were welcome, what was needed most was aerial apparatus, as there was quite a bit of fire in the roof, and high up on the side wall of the building.
Crews worked diligently from both the roof, and inside the structure, to ferret out the hidden fire and make sure it was completely extinguished. Personnel and resources from the Kent & Queen Annes Rescue Squad and Kent County EMS, which responded as part of the initial alarm, set up an evaluation and rehabilitation point in the parking lot.
The fire was declared under control at 6:51 pm, exactly one hour after the incident was dispatched. Crews remained at the scene for 2-1/2 hours working to extinguish the stubborn, deep-seated fire which had worked its way into insulating material in the roof and walls. Our last unit to leave the incident scene arrived back at the fire station at 9:37 pm.
Chestertown VFC personnel spent the next 40 minutes doing the various and sundry tasks required to prepare for the next call. This includes tasks such as washing dirty hose and repacking the engines with clean dry hose, cleaning the self-contained breathing-apparatus, etc. One of the tasks our personnel pay particular attention to is, for those firefighters exposed to a smoky environment, the thorough cleaning of our PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). These items include our turnout coats and pants, our protective hoods, etc. Studies have shown the residue left after a smoky fire includes a host of toxins and carcinogens. So, we now include our PPE in the cleaning process, so we’re not poisoning ourselves every time we wear it. By 10:30 pm, we were finally able to put the lid on this fire incident, with members starting to straggle out… bound for home.
Before concluding, we extend special gratitude to the Sudlersville VFC (Queen Annes County) and the Clayton Fire Company (Kent County, Delaware) for standing by in our station while we handled this fire. While it’s an important job, it’s still a rather dull and mundane assignment. These crews are prepared to respond to any subsequent call(s) that may happen while we were unavailable.
There were approximately 40 firefighters and EMS personnel at this incident. There were no injuries or illness to any civilians or emergency personnel.
All photographs are by the Chestertown VFC, and the media may use them with attribution.
Companies dispatched and working this incident:
Chestertown VFC
Kennedyville VFC
Betterton VFC
Rock Hall VFC
Galena VFC
The Community VFC of Millington
Church Hill VFC
Sudlersville VFC
Crumpton VFC
Cecilton VFC
Kent & Queen Annes Rescue Squad
Kent County EMS

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