fire

Fire Tears Through Summer Camp in Frederick County, Maryland

The fire at Camp Airy broke out in the dining hall, Frederick County Fire & Rescue said

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A fire tore through part of a summer camp in Thurmont, Maryland, early Wednesday, authorities say. All campers and staff are accounted for, camp officials said. 

The fire at Camp Airy broke out in the dining hall, Frederick County Fire & Rescue said in an initial message. About 100 firefighters responded. The building was empty, and no one was reported to have been hurt. 

Camp Director Marty Rochlin said he and generations of former campers were saddened by the damage to the historic building. 

“It’s a building most of us grew up in,” he said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon. “Thankfully, it’s just a building. Camp can continue, because camp is the people. And we’ll be back and better with whatever the plan is in 2023 and beyond.” 

Video published by WBAL shows a massive blaze, with high flames and a large cloud of dark smoke. Chopper4 footage shows the charred, smoking wreckage. The smoke could be seen for miles.

Camp officials told families that the fire in the dining hall, also known as the White House, broke out at about 7:30 a.m. 

“While it’s too early to tell the extent of the damage, we wanted to advise everyone that all campers, counselors and staff are safe and accounted for,” they said. 

The blaze took about three hours to bring under control, officials said.

Founded in the 1920s, Camp Airy is an overnight Jewish boys' camp for youth age 7 to 17. Camp Louise is its sister camp for girls.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington said they were relieved to hear everyone is OK and looking at how they can help. 

An investigation into the fire is ongoing. No information was immediately released on its possible cause or the estimated cost of the damage.

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