Cedar Chase fire remains under investigation

Cedar Chase resident Troy Shuler carries some of his belongings from his third floor apartment on Wednesday. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

DOVER — A fire that raged through Building F at the Greens at Cedar Chase apartments on Tuesday morning condemned an entire building and displaced 22 of the complex’s residents, but also put the wheels for giving into motion.

Fire officials on Wednesday were examining the scene and conducting interviews to determine the cause of the blaze.

City of Dover Fire Marshal Jason Osika said Wednesday that three firefighters, two from the Dover Fire Department and another from Cheswold, were injured while battling the blaze.

Two residents suffered minor injuries after jumping from balconies to escape the fire.

All of the injured were treated at Bayhealth’s Kent General Hospital in Dover.

A firefighter admitted to the hospital after the ceiling crashed down on him on the third floor of the apartment building was released on Wednesday, according to Mr. Osika.

“Right now the cause of the fire is still under investigation,” Mr. Osika said. “We have the (fire) scene investigation that we’re looking into and we have interviews we have to make.

‘Fire Line Do Not Cross’ tape is still hangs in front of the gutted Building F on Wednesday. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

“We’re getting more information and then we will sit down with (Deputy Fire Marshal) Matthew Brown, who was the lead investigator, and go over all of it.”

Marisa Moore, the property manager at the Greens at Cedar Chase, said five of the displaced families have been relocated to other apartments at the complex while the remaining families were moved to Country Club Apartments, a sister location.

She added that the Red Cross of Delaware has stepped in to offer their assistance to all of the families.

“We were able to find a home for everybody who was displaced from the fire here at the apartment complex,” Ms. Moore said. “We’re still trying to get everybody situated and we’re just going to rebuild from here.

“The Red Cross did come and offer their assistance to our residents and each of them met with them individually.”

Other residents who were not affected by the fire at the Greens at Cedar Chase have offered to help with fundraising and do what they can to help them put their lives back together.

Ms. Moore said those efforts are just now in the beginning stages but people are welcome to drop off blankets, bottled water, non-perishable food items and clothing to the leasing office, which is located at 1700 N. DuPont Highway behind the Bob Evans restaurant.

“Everyone got out alive, so that’s a plus,” said Nancy Gregory, who was moving items out of her apartment on the first floor of the building on Wednesday. “… I don’t think I’ll be having Christmas this year. There’s just too much happening at once.”

Her son, Zach Gregory, was among the individuals doing all they could to knock on doors and get people out of their apartments when the fire broke out in the building’s stairwell at around 7 on Wednesday morning.

He said he was just happy that he, and all of the other residents, survived the ordeal.

“People were worried about items, but I’m like ‘Hey, you’re alive,’” Mr. Gregory said. “Everything else is replaceable.

“All of our stuff was pretty good. On the left side (of the building) where the fire was they mostly got water damage, but the top two apartments, they’re completely done for sure.”

Ms. Moore said she was just happy that a possible tragic situation was averted and offered her thanks to the Dover Fire and Police Departments and others who responded so quickly.

“We are very blessed,” she said. “Everybody did everything they could to put out the fire and protect our residents and we are very grateful for that.”

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