In Ocean City, Passersby Evaluate Damage of Hotel Fire - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

In Ocean City, Passersby Evaluate Damage of Hotel Fire

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

OCEAN CITY, Md. - Yellow tape surrounds the historic "Majestic Hotel" in Ocean City, as people examined what was left after a fire destroys much of the basement floor Friday afternoon. The hotel was built in the 1920s, and so many bystanders are hopeful it will be up and running by the summer season.

Michael Rutka of Ocean City and Max Spicer of Berlin were both in Ocean City Friday afternoon when they saw the hotel catch fire. Rutka said he was nearby when he heard a large boom.

"I saw a lot of smoke," he said. "Smoke was coming from everywhere. It was surrounding the place. It was really wicked."

Spicer agreed, saying fire trucks filled the boardwalk, not only from Ocean City but from surrounding towns as well.

"Fire trucks were everywhere," he said. "From all over the place." 

Officials from the town said that the fire marshal continues to investigate the fire to look for the cause of the blaze. But at this point, there is no new information about how it began and how much damage is left behind.

Bill Callahan who was visiting from Centerville on Saturday said that the damage hit at home for him. Members of his hometown's fire department would come to the Majestic Hotel every single year for the annual state firefighters convention. In a truly ironic turn of events, he said the fire took the building when the firefighters were not in attendance.

"They were upset that their home away from home was on fire," he said about many of the firefighters.  

Some people like Marcia Petruzzi of Ocean View said that the fire was a larger deal than just a material loss. She said it was important to maintain the hotel because of it's rich history.

"Every time you turn around down here, they're tearing something down," she said. "And putting up a big high rise. And I'd hate to see the old ones go."

There were no serious injuries from the event. According to the Ocean City Police Department, a firefighter suffered minor injuries but was treated at the scene. 

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