Fox 45 News reports on the $7.5 million loss in Perryville Easter Sunday condo fire.
Sent: 2018-04-02 9:52:50 AM
Subject: Owens Landing Fire - Perryville
Good Morning Richard,
My name is Tom Bicking, and I am the Chief of Charlestown Fire Company. Mike has asked me to give a few details regarding our operations at the Condo Fire in Perryville that happened at 0230 on April 1, 2018. I was officer on our new fire boat, and my assistant chief was our operator.
The way this group of condominiums was situated there was no access for fire apparatus to gain access to the rear of the building. If there had been, they still would have had to park well outside the collapse zone due to heat, which minimizes how close you can get with hand lines, flow rates, etc. When we arrived, which by the way was only about a 10 minute response from Charlestown due to our new boat, the structure was fully engulfed. Upon arrival we joined Harford County Boat 5-2 from Havre De Grace Fire Company, and immediately placed into service our monitor which was flowing approximately 1500 gallons a minute for the 5 hours (approximately 450,000 gallons) or so we were on scene. The fire was so hot when we arrived we made a knock on the fire for approximately 15 minutes and as the air temperature got cooler, we moved in closer until we were tied off to the bulkhead flowing water from that location.
I have no doubt in my mind the towns water system wouldn't have had enough water to fight this fire. Most likely this fire would have taxed any municipal water system. Having two fireboats employing their monitors was essential to extinguishing this fire, and keeping the heat dissipated, leaving the aerial apparatus on the municipal water supply free to manage a fog stream over the adjacent structures resulting in the adjacent buildings from getting to an ignition point. Without these two marine units I feel the fire loss would have been much greater.
By the way, Havre De Grace Boat 5-2 was on location for close to 12Hrs yesterday, and at times they were operating both a portable deck gun and their monitor. If there had been docks where we were, we could have established a water supply by running a 5" supply line out the dock to our boat and furnished water to the attack pieces as well as fought fire. I am sure well over a million gallons of water were dumped on this fire over the course of the incident, which would have been impossible without these marine units. If you have further questions please don't hesitate to ask Mike or myself. We are more than happy to assist you however we can.
Thomas Bicking - Fire Chief
Charlestown Fire Company
p.o.box 111, 307 Market Street
Charlestown, Md. 21914
Here's more on the aftermath.