Ocean City, Maryland – January 14, 2016: The Ocean City Fire Marshal’s Office has concluded their investigation into yesterday’s fire at the Pelican Beach Condominium. The cause of the fire, which began just before 11 a.m. on January 13, was ruled accidental. The five-story masonry building, which includes an open parking area on the ground floor, a second level parking area below ground and four residential floors above, was unoccupied at the time of the fire.
It was determined through the investigation that the fire started on the ground floor parking garage, in the area of a running generator located in the bed of a pick-up truck. The fire quickly spread to the bed and cab of the truck, which eventually fully engulfed the vehicle with fire. The fire rapidly spread throughout the entire parking garage ceiling, which was fueled by the combustible spray-on insulation and strong winds. Next, the fire traveled up the east side of the building, fueled by the exterior finishes and balcony furniture, entering only one unit.
“The interior of one unit experienced significant fire damage, as well as the building’s east side exterior balconies,” said Ocean City Fire Marshal David Hartley. “Damage to the remaining units consisted of heat and smoke, however; the underground parking area, which was the only portion of the building protected by a fire sprinkler system, was unaffected by the fire.”
There were three maintenance workers who were working on the roof at the time the fire began but they evacuated the building unharmed before the arrival of fire department personnel. At this time, the 28-unit building has been posted “no occupancy” as a result of the fire damage.