Egide plant suffers $1M damage

Submitted photo/Juanita Darby
A cloud of black smoke rose over the Egide plant on July 1. The incident went to three alarms, pulling in crews from around the region.

CAMBRIDGE — One of the city’s major employers sustained severe damage in a July 1 fire. Egide USA’s factory suffered an estimated $1 million loss in a three-alarm fire first reported at 5:21 p.m.

At that time, the volunteers of Rescue Fire Company Inc. (RFC) were dispatched for a commercial building fire at 4 Washington St. Units arrived on location with black smoke and fire showing from the roof and started interior operations, advancing a 300-foot attack line into the right side of the structure.

The company specializes in the manufacture of hermetic packages for sensitive electronic components used in defense, security, aeronautics, telecommunications and energy, the company’s website says. “Egide Group is the only pure player in this market niche with manufacturing bases in France and the United States,” a statement on the site says.
The plant employs up to 50 persons, according to its LinkedIn page.
Crews did not find any fire on the interior of the structure, just smoke conditions without high heat, a report from RFC said. The plan was switched to a master stream operations and flying stand pipe using the tower companies on the roof.

It took approximately 20 minutes to set up and bring this fire under control. Additional units, including hazardous materials and the Maryland Department of the Environment, were called to deal with the chemical aspect of the incident.
Crews responded from Salisbury, Anne Arundel County and Baltimore. Teams formed a plan and made entry into the structure where it was rendered stable for the night.
Decontamination was set up and performed on all team members who made entry into the structure. Command placed the situation under control and all units were placed in service without incident at 12:13 a.m. The last volunteer cleared Station 1 at 1:39 a.m. after all equipment was fueled, filled, and restocked.
Thirty-four volunteers and 12 vehicles from Rescue Fire Company Inc. responded to this incident.

Mutual aid was provided by the Cambridge Police Department, Dorchester County Emergency Medical Services PM100, 101 and 102 (Cambridge), Station 61 (Linkwood-Salem), Station 46 (Church Creek), Station 21 (East New Market), Station 16 (Secretary), Station 6 (Hurlock), Talbot County Station 30 (Trappe), PM93 (Trappe), Talbot County Station 20 (Oxford), Talbot County Station 60 (Easton), Salisbury FD Haz-mat Team Station 2 PM2 (Naylor St.), Engine 16 Station 16 (Cypress St.), Anne Arundel County FD Haz-mat Team, Rescue Engine 23, Special Unit 23, Station 23 (Jones Station), Squad 4, PM4 Station 4 (Severn), Maryland Department of the Environment, Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office, Coast Guard (EPA) and the State Highway Administration.

On June 2 at 9 a.m., RFC’s Tower 1-1 returned to the scene to assist the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s office with the investigation.
“The Officers & Members of Rescue Fire Company Inc. would like to thank every fire department that responded. This was a long incident, but departments pulled together and gave what they could to ensure the safety of the citizens of our communities. The company would also like to thank Domino’s of Cambridge for the 30 pizzas made at very short notice, free of charge to the volunteers.”
The Office of the Fire Marshal reported that the estimated loss to the steel and concrete structure is $300,000, and $700,000 to its contents. Fire alarms and sprinklers were both present and activated. The fire was discovered by an alarm and an employee, the office reported.
Seventy-five firefighters brought the incident under control in six hours. The area of origin and preliminary cause are under investigation. No injuries or arrests were reported.

  • RFC firefighter Kevin Carr contributed to this report.