UPDATE: Three die, two injured in Cambridge fire


CAMBRIDGE — Three are dead after an early-morning fire in an apartment at 404 High St. Rescue Fire Company received its first alarm, reported by a neighbor, at 12:26 a.m., and responded with multiple crews and vehicles. Three ambulances from Dorchester County Emergency Medical Services were also at the scene.

A second alarm, sent at the same time, brought in additional departments — Stations 1, 6, 30, 46, 61, 21, Talbot 60 — as well as Ambulance 31 and Paramedic 93 from Trappe. As the fire grew, the house became fully involved and a third alarm was sent at 12:34 a.m., bringing in more firefighters.

A team of deputy state fire marshals and K9 Billie arrived on the scene in the early morning. They and officers from the Cambridge Police Department are continuing their investigation into the incident. It took approximately 75 firefighters 90 minutes to bring the blaze under control in the three-story structure, which contained two apartments.

As a result of the fire, a 31-year-old female was transported by ambulance to Tidal Health in Salisbury with serious injuries. She will be flown to Baltimore for more advanced medical treatment, a report from the Office of the State Fire Marshal said late Thursday morning. In addition, an 11-year-old girl was transported by ambulance to Tidal Health in Salisbury for minor injuries. A Maryland state trooper and a Cambridge police officer had assisted her off of a landing she escaped to via a window on the second floor. She was treated and later released.

The blaze claimed the lives of three other occupants of the building: an 8-year-old girl, an 18-year-old woman and a 41-year-old man perished as a result of the fire. They will be transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore to determine the exact cause of death.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Among the many departments at the emergency were the Easton Volunteers, who responded with Engine 63 and Tower 61, providing mutual aid to Rescue Fire Company. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to all affected by this tragedy,” a statement from the department said.

St. Michaels VFD Truck 40 responded on the third alarm with a crew of four, and operated on the scene for approximately four hours. The incident touched many in the small town. “My heart goes out to each of you today...the family, firefighters, friends and anyone involved,” Diana Rathel wrote online. “Many prayers and hugs. Thank you for all you do!” Christy Bell wrote, “I just would like to say thank you to all the firefighters who put themselves in jeopardy... and for doing what they could.”