Massive fire erupts at Jewish sleep away summer camp in Maryland

Fire started in dining hall; no injuries reported, officials say

THURMONT, MD. – A large fire erupted Wednesday morning at a Jewish sleep away summer camp for boys located in Thurmont, Maryland.

The fire happened at Camp Airy, which is located at the edge of the Catoctin Mountain Park.

According to ABC affiliate WJLA, the fire broke out in the dining hall at 7:34 a.m. and quickly spread.

It took about 100 firefighters more than two hours to extinguish the blaze.

Fire officials say the building was empty at the time and no injuries have been reported.

Staff members told WJLA that the dining hall is not only where the campers eat their meals, but is also used for camp activities.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The first camp session for Camps Airy & Louise started this past Sunday. Staff members say camp activities will go on as scheduled, although the dining hall was destroyed in the fire.

Parents whose children attend the camp received the following message from staff members:

“Dear Parents,

“At around 7:30 AM this morning, a fire was reported in the Dining Hall (aka the White House) at Camp Airy. While it’s too early to tell the extent of the damage, we wanted to advise everyone that all campers, counselors and staff are safe and accounted for. No one was injured in the event. We want to applaud our counselors and senior staff for keeping our campers calm and safe throughout this event, and thank the first responders who remain on site for clean-up efforts.

“As you might imagine, the White House is not only where we serve our meals, but also a hub of activity at camp. We are currently relocating many of these activities, and want to assure you that campers will be fed on time with the quality meals that you expect. What is important to know is that no one has been hurt, and camp will move forward with the full slate of activities.

“We will provide further updates on the situation as we have more news to share. Thank you for your support and patience in this matter.”

About the Author:

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for