Fire closes Route 213 during evening rush hour

An apartment fire on Maple Avenue (state Route 213) shut down traffic late Tuesday afternoon in both directions across the street from the Chestertown firehouse.

CHESTERTOWN — Firefighters shut down traffic just blocks from the Chester River bridge over state Route 213 late Tuesday afternoon as they extinguished an apartment fire.

According to the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office, the call came in at 5:35 p.m. for 210 Maple Ave. (Route 213), across the street from the Chestertown firehouse. The building, located next to 7-Eleven, is notable for a sign for the business Healthy Connections above the front door.

The fire reportedly began in a kitchen area on the first floor of the building. The fire marshal’s report lists the cause as accidental, the result of a refrigerator malfunction.

“Occupants residing in the apartment area of the structure observed smoke and contacted the 911 Center. All occupants successfully escaped the structure and are being assisted by family and friends,” the report states.

The Chestertown Volunteer Fire Company was the lead responder. The report states 50 firefighters responded to the alarm, with volunteers coming from as far as the Betterton Volunteer Fire Company and from companies in Queen Anne’s County.

The fire was reportedly brought under control in 30 minutes. Estimated damage to the structure, owned by Richardson Fresh Ponds LLC, was $50,000, with another $30,000 worth of contents destroyed. No injuries were reported.

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