Updated: Two buildings condemned after accidental Dover fire

DOVER — Two buildings were condemned and 24 residences rendered uninhabitable following a Thursday morning fire at Baytree Apartment Homes, officials said.

A fire rages on the top floor of a building in the Baytree Apartment Homes in Dover Thursday morning. (Submitted photo/Kevin Ohlandt)

No injuries were reported, according to Dover Fire Department Deputy Chief Michael O’Connor.

Buildings D and E were heavily damaged and fire ran through a roof before spreading, Mr. O’Connor said. City Fire Marshal Jason Osika said the fire was caused accidentally.

A Baytree Apartment Homes spokesperson who answered the phone said, “We are trying to do everything we can for the residents who were affected.
“We are still gathering information at this time.”

The spokesperson said one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments were involved. It was not immediately known how many residents were displaced.

After hearing sirens while inside his nearby townhouse, Kevin Ohlandt emerged to see a building “burning from the top floors and “fire trucks all around.”

“It quickly burned down three units and the fire kind of just swallowed them up.”

Mr. Ohlandt said he was startled to see an archway crumble and collapse onto the ground.

Fire crews did a “bang up job” in responding, according to Mr. Ohlandt, and “there was a tall ladder that was spraying water onto the roof and they really seemed to be doing everything they could to stop it.”

Mr. Ohlandt said he was told that nearby residents saw smoke and entered the buildings to alert those inside.

According to the DFD run log posted online, the call arrived at 10:09 a.m. Crews were dispatched to the 200 block of Bay Tree Road.

The City of Dover later issued this message on its Facebook page:

“To the victims whose identification was verified associated with the fire at Baytree, change of hotel location. Please go to Mainstay Suites near Blue Hen Mall where Red Cross is now on location.”

In addition to Dover FD, crews from Little Creek, Cheswold and Camden-Wyoming fire companies assisted.

Note – this has been updated from the original post.