Elderly Owner Escapes Ocean City House Fire

The home at 15 Arkansas Avenue is demolished in the firefighting effort.

Ocean City firefighters battled a fire that destroyed a house at 15 Arkansas Avenue on Tuesday morning, but the elderly owner of the home escaped unharmed.

The fire appears to have started in the garage, where the worst damage was seen. All units of the Ocean City Fire Department responded to the scene at 8:38 a.m. Nov. 5.

By noon, a demolition team was at the site tearing down the structure to allow firefighters to completely extinguish the fire.

Ocean City Fire Chief Chris Breunig said initial reports suggested that the occupant possibly was still in the home, but firefighters were able to search the property and confirm that she had evacuated safely.

Elizabeth Ebensperger is listed as the property owner on Cape May County tax records.

He said the amount of clutter in the house hindered the firefighting operation.

"The fire apparently began in the garage and due to the heavy fire load quickly spread to the attic, which had limited access," according to a news release from the Ocean City Fire Department.

Somers Point and Marmora firefighting units were called for “mutual aid” to cover stations as all Ocean City units responded to the fire. The Upper Township Rescue Squad also provided a rehab unit at the scene. 

The fire was brought under control at 10:11 a.m. The cause remains under investigation at this time. No injuries were reported.
holly buck November 05, 2013 at 03:35 PM
Great job OCFD !!!
Bob Booey November 05, 2013 at 04:52 PM
Why the need for "mutual aid" and rehab units from other towns? Does Ocean City not have these resources? Were any of the surrounding houses damaged?
Public Servant ret'd November 05, 2013 at 09:11 PM
OCFD does not have a Rehab Unit, the service is provided by the Upper Twp Rescue Squad to the region--no cost and no need to duplicate. As for the mutual aid, it was used to back-fill the stations while the OC personnel were fighting the fire.
Fred J. Hoffman November 17, 2013 at 03:10 PM
I believe what they meant to say was that Upper Twp provided the RIT (rapid intervention team) which is the team that stands by at the ready to rescue downed or trapped firefighters.


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