At approximately 3:10 AM on Tuesday, March 13, 2018, Lewes FD was called to assist Rehoboth Beach FD (86) with two structure fires: two large houses side-by-side with minimal clearance between the two. 86 units reported seeing fire in the air prior to their arrival, and their Chief called a working incident immediately. The initial dispatch of 86, 82, and 70 (Bethany Beach) was quickly supplemented by requests for additional companies. There was a moderate wind pushing the fire down the beach, and one additional house was directly exposed and in danger of becoming involved. Flying embers threatened a row of houses just beyond that third house. Quick work by the initial arriving units kept the fire in check to the original two units.
The two originally involved units were a total loss, and an excavator had to be called in to completely tear down what remained of both houses in order to complete the overhaul process. Two other houses suffered heat damage. An antique car was salvaged and removed from one house before it suffered major damage. One firefighter suffered minor injuries, and no civilians were injured, as there were no residents home at the time in either house. Lewes FD Auxiliary helped out with coffee, hot chocolate, and breakfast sandwiches.
Responding units from Lewes included Engines 82-1, 82-2, and 82-9; Tanker 82-4; Ladder 82; Command 82-8; Ambulance D-82; Lewes Fire Police; and LFD Auxiliary. Other companies that directly assisted at the scene or assisted with coverage included Georgetown (77), Slaughter Beach - Memorial (89), Indian River (80), Millville (84), Milton (85), Ellendale (75), Millsboro (83), Dagsboro (73), Gumboro (79), Roxana (90), Milford (42), Selbyville (88), and Laurel (81); along with paramedics from Sussex County EMS, and investigators from the Delaware State Fire Marshal's Office.