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Fire of 1922 Centennial Event
Tuesday, March 29, 2022



April 16th, 2022 1PM-4PM
Ceremony at 3PM

Pocomoke City Volunteer Fire Company
1410 Market Street
Pocomoke City, MD 21851

For Immediate Release April 3, 2022
On Easter Monday, April 17, 1922, a devasting fire destroyed 15 acres in the downtown section of Pocomoke City. The conflagration left 250 residents homeless, devastated scores of businesses and homes, and resulted in a loss of $25 million in today’s dollars.

For three hours Maple, Clarke, Second and Market Streets were a sea of flames. High winds then whipped the fire up Front Street where it destroyed numerous homes in the residential section.

During the early stages of the fire, the town’s telephone exchange building was in extreme danger. Yet the phone operators maintained their posts and called for aid from fire companies across the peninsula. The phone exchange was eventually destroyed, but not before help was on its way. The Pennsylvania Railroad dispatched special trains to convey fire apparatus and firefighters to Pocomoke City.

Fire companies from Seaford, Laurel, Delmar, Salisbury, Snow Hill, Berlin, Ocean City, Cambridge, Princess Anne and Crisfield answered the call to assist the Pocomoke Fire Company in battling the blaze. As quoted in the New York Times on Tuesday, April 18, 1922, “but for the splendid teamwork of the fire companies the entire town would have been destroyed”.

To commemorate the Centennial of the Great Pocomoke City Fire of 1922, the Pocomoke City Volunteer Fire Company will host an Open House and Ceremony on Saturday, April 16. Those Fire Companies listed above have been invited to attend and will be recognized for their assistance in containing and extinguishing the fire.

The Open House, which will feature antique fire equipment and historical materials regarding the fire, will be held at the Pocomoke City Volunteer Fire Company, 1410 Market Street, from 1 PM until 4 PM on Saturday April 16. The recognition ceremony will take place at 3 PM.

According to Lt. Chip Choquette, chairperson of the Centennial, Pocomoke City experienced three devastating fires prior to 1922. The fire of December 1888 led to the establishment of the Pocomoke City Volunteer Fire Company. The fire of April 1922 led to the purchase of more advanced fire fighting equipment and the rebuilding of the town’s downtown section with masonry buildings and wider streets to prevent fires of this magnitude from recurring in the future. These efforts proved beneficial and as a result the town has not sustained a major conflagration in 100 years.


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