Firefighters work to contain a two-alarm blaze that started shortly after 7 p.m. Wednesday that collapsed the roof and a portion of a wall of a South Carroll Street building.
Fire rips through building
Originally published July 01, 2010
By Pam Rigaux
Firefighters work to contain a two-alarm blaze that started shortly after 7 p.m. Wednesday that collapsed the roof and a portion of a wall of a South Carroll Street building. Twenty-five fire companies responded to extinguish the blaze.
The fire stung the eyes of passers-by half a block away and caused firefighters to halt an interior attack after 15 minutes.
"They pulled everybody out," said Marc McNeal, chief fire marshal with the Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue Services. "It spread pretty rapidly."
The first and second floors of the historic structure at 59 S. Carroll St. were engulfed in flames when United Steam Fire Engine Co. arrived, he said.
Firefighters confirmed a propane tank and other equipment was inside the building, prompting a call to Washington Gas.
Allegheny Power shut off the electricity, and police closed intersecting roads to traffic. Some traffic lights in the area were out.
"There were no explosions," McNeal said at about 9 p.m. "The roof is collapsed. A partial wall is collapsed on one side."
No one was in the building when the fire started. One firefighter suffered from heat exhaustion and was driven to Frederick Memorial Hospital in a private vehicle.
By 9:45 p.m., the fire was contained and firefighters were extinguishing hot spots, McNeal said.
Three tower trucks and more than 25 fire companies responded. Firefighters spent roughly an hour bringing the flames under control so they would not spread outside the building.
Two tower trucks on South Carroll Street attacked the fire from the front. One tower truck on All Saints Street hit flames on the side and rear.
A firefighter in front of the building's entrance sprayed water directly at the flames that spilled out the front door.
Firefighters declined to talk about their actions.
A friend of a firefighter, Jack Clary, said he heard the alarm and headed to the scene.
"As soon as I came to the area, my eyes were watering. I was choking a little bit," he said.
Clary stared at the flames shooting through the roof and said, "It's intense. You can feel the heat of the fire."
This is the worst fire McNeal has seen downtown in the last few years.