ON WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 8, 1958, a major fire broke out in the A&P Supermarket on the east side of Crain Highway, two blocks north of B&A Boulevard, Glen Burnie, Anne Arundel County, MD.

Flames and smoke were discovered at 5:55 P.M. in the ceiling over the store’s meat market area. Approximately 50 customers and employees were in the store at the time of the fire. Despite a rapidly advancing fire, the evacuation was orderly and there was no panic. Customers with purchases were checked out by the store’s cashiers before leaving the building.

Fifteen county fire companies along with Water Tower #1, from the Baltimore City Fire Department, responded to the fire in the large one-story ordinary-construction built building. The fire took four hours to get under control. Heavy winds and freezing temperatures hampered firefighting operations.

(Clipping - Chuck Morris Jr.)

Four firefighters were injured and transported to South Baltimore General in ambulances. Wind fanned 20-feet-high-flames from the collapsing roof could be seen as far as three-miles away. As a precaution, the New Glen MovieTheater across the street was evacuated as 3,000 spectators watched the blaze.

(Photo - Helfrich/Doegen Collection)

Over two-dozen hose streams were employed by firefighters, who stayed on location until 4 A.M., Thursday morning. Twenty-five soldiers from U.S. Army Fort G. Meade also responded to the fire to assist.

(Photo - Helfrich/Doegen Collection)

Above - Many hose lines were operated from the two-story office building located on the South side of the burning building. (Photo - Helfrich/Doegen Collection)

Approximately nine years after the fire, Will Morrison from Company #32 (Linthicum) shared with me his experience at the fire. He said that he and Tommy Tydings crawled through the smoke filled building from the main entrance with a hose line.

The pair were wearing, in addition to turn-out-gear, MSA All Service Filter Masks. When they were half-way in the store, Morrison shined a beam from his hand-light on to the “warning indicator paper” on the filter intake – it was “RED.” Red meant very high concentrations of Carbon Monoxide in the surrounding atmosphere. Realizing the danger, both firefighters crawled back out of the building.

Morrison also stated that owners of near-by liquor stores were handing out “minatures” to the freezing firefighters. Others brought hot pots of coffee and sandwiches. The Anne Arundel Alamers was created and organized as a result of the A&P fire.


(Photo – Helfrich/Doegen Collection)

(Evening Sun - Chuck Morris Jr.)








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