Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue Services units were dispatched to the 200 block of East Second Street in downtown Frederick for a building fire. First arriving crews reported fire through the roof and a rapid intervention dispatch was initiated. With wind conditions causing the fire to spread quickly and access issues making it difficult for crews to get to the main fire floor, a second alarm was dispatched bringing over 100 firefighters from across Frederick County to battle the blaze. Members worked arduously, facing difficulties in maneuvering apparatus to access the building due to the location and narrowness of Chapel Alley, but were able to keep the fire contained to the main building and place it completely out in just under four hours. Crews remained on scene for several hours overnight placing water on hot spots and cleaning up. The location was formerly known as the Visitation Academy and was vacant while under renovation. No injuries were reported. The Frederick County Fire Marshal’s Office investigators have deemed the fire accidental, their investigation revealing that heavy winds caused the gutters to blow away from the building on the Chapel Alley side, and come into contact with power lines.                                           

– Fire News photos provided