Ocean City, MD, Fire Destroys Top Floor of Condo Building

Firefighters battled an intense fire that engulfed the top floor of a condominium building at 38th St., just south of the Convention Center, in midtown Ocean City, Maryland. The fire started at about 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012. No injuries were reported. The summer season is over, and parking lots on both sides of the building appeared to be nearly empty, allowing fire apparatus to get close to the building on both sides. Firefighters had to brave clouds of intense, acrid-smelling smoke. 

A firefighter sprays water on the south side of the building. The third floor of one building in the “Bradley on the Bay” condominium complex in Ocean City, Maryland, was destroyed. The other six buildings in the complex appeared to be undamaged. The condominiums are located on the west side of Coastal Highway (Philadelphia Ave.) stretching from the highway to the bay. The buildings are between 37th St. and 38th St.

The building at left is not on fire. The burning building is completely obscured by smoke, behind the firefighter in the bucket. Flames were clearly visible at times, but I wasn’t able to get a picture of anything but smoke.

Firefighters and trucks surrounded the building from parking lots on both sides, pumping water onto the burning top floor from north and south. This view is from 39th St. to the north. The firetruck is in the large municipal parking lot between the Convention Center and the Bradley on the Bay complex.

A closer look at firefighters on the north side of the building. I lost count of the number of firetrucks  and other emergency vehicles. I estimate that at least 100 firefighters and police responded to the blaze.

Strong winds blow intense plumes of dense smoke north from the fire. Thick smoke obscures people in the parking lot in front of the Dough Roller and Rita’s on the north side of the Convention Center, more than two blocks from the fire.

Dense smoke blows across the municipal parking lot.

More heavy smoke as traffic backs up on Coastal Highway.

A haze of smoke hides the Convention Center and nearly blocks out the setting sun.

Windblown smoke billows toward the Convention Center parking lot.

This photo, shot between the buildings from across Coastal Highway, will give people familiar with the Bradley on the Bay complex a better idea of the exact location of the fire.

A large municipal parking lot occupies the block just south of the Convention Center. Then the Bradley on the Bay complex begins. First, there are three condo buildings in a row from Coastal Highway to  the Bay. Then a building fronting on Coastal Highway, and finally three more buildings to the south, running from the highway to the bay. In this picture, the building facing the highway is to the left. You can see the firefighter spraying water on the middle building in the row of three along the city parking lot. You can see water cascading down the balconies of the middle building.

The third floor of that one building was completely destroyed. The floor most likely contained six condominium units. The units on the second and first floors undoubtedly suffered heavy water damage, and possibly some fire damage. The buildings on either side of the burning building appeared to be undamaged, with the possible exception of smoke damage. The other four buildings in the complex were not directly involved, since the smoke was blowing north.

— John Hayden

4 thoughts on “Ocean City, MD, Fire Destroys Top Floor of Condo Building

  1. Pingback: Fire Destroys Top Floor of Bradley on the Bay Building « Ocean City Blog

  2. Well something like this is certainly MY worst nightmare. The first thing I did when I joined our condo board was to evaluate the state of our fire safety mechanisms and procedures to make sure everything was up to speed. When money is an issue, as it is for most condo associations these days, sadly it becomes easier for attention to such matters to slip through the cracks.


    • This is scary on any floor above the first floor. I once lived in a humongous nine-floor apt bldg in Baltimore that was a block long! Because of its size, they adopted a thorough fire plan. I was one of two fire wardens on each floor. Glad we never had to test the plan with a real fire.


  3. Thank you for the detailed description of the “Bradley on the Bay” fire. The pictures of the smoke are powerful reminders of the impact fire has on air quality as well as damage to the buildings.


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