THURMONT, Md. — A huge two-alarm fire at a historic Jewish summer camp for boys has caused an estimated $2 million in damage, according to authorities in Frederick, Maryland. The dining hall, where the fire was located, is a total loss.
More than 100 firefighters from Maryland and Pennsylvania responded to the reported fire Wednesday morning at Camp Airy.
Administrators of Camp Airy immediately reported that there had been no injuries to campers or staff and that everyone was safely accounted for. But the camp's historic dining hall, known as "The White House" by generations of campers dating back to the 1920s, was destroyed.
Frederick County Emergency Communication Center received calls around 7:30 a.m. for a building fire at the 14900 block of Old Camp Airy Road in Thurmont. Marty Rochlin, the camp's director, said staffers were in the building beginning to prepare breakfast for the busy camp when workers saw smoke and evacuated. The fire quickly spread from the dining hall throughout the first and second floors of the building.
The fire was brought under control after about three hours, but firefighters remained on scene into Thursday putting out hot spots and making sure the fire didn't flare up again, the fire marshal's office said.
Over 85,000 gallons of water was placed on the remnants of the structure to ensure it was completely extinguished.
The camp worked quickly to feed campers without a dining hall.
"We are pleased to report that we have a plan in place for serving meals throughout the summer at Camp Airy," a spokesperson for the camp said in a Facebook post. "We anticipate normal meal service to resume shorty. A full-service mobile kitchen has been procured, our food vendors are scheduling supply runs, tables and chairs, and a temporary dining facility are all en route."
Feed the Fridge, in partnership with Medium Rare, to prepared and deliver 600 meals to the camp Thursday afternoon. Rocky’s Pizza, Gateway Farm Market and Bethesda Bagels also pitched in help.
Fire investigators are still working to determine the exact cause of the fire, but have ruled out any intentional or suspicious factors.