GFF fire at Rita's

A fire that apparently started in a deep fryer destroyed the Rita’s Italian & Polish Sausage concession stand lateThursday afternoon at The Great Frederick Fair.

A fire at a Great Frederick Fair food stand caused roughly $10,000 in damage late Thursday afternoon, according to a Frederick County fire official.

Grease sparked a fire at Rita’s, a stand known for its Italian sausage, near the beef barn on the fairgrounds, according to Chip Jewell, head of the Frederick County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association.

A fire crew on standby next to the beef barn saw flames at the food stand around 5:30 p.m. and immediately assisted, Jewell said.

The fire was out in minutes, according to Jewell.

One person was treated at the scene for a minor injury. No other injuries were reported, he said.

The health department was notified of the fire, Jewell said.

The food stand was roped off with yellow tape Thursday evening. People peeked over the tape at the charred equipment and burned tent.

It was unclear if Rita’s could reopen.

Fires at The Great Frederick Fair are infrequent, but fire and rescue units are on standby on the fairgrounds just in case, Jewell said.

Follow Paige Jones on Twitter: @paigeleejones.

Paige Jones covers business and biotech in Frederick County. She started at the paper in 2014 as a nighttime crime reporter before switching to business. A Kansas transplant in Maryland, she enjoys exploring the East Coast in her free time.

(10) comments


I didn't know firefighters feelings were hurt so easily but get everybody's offended these days.


I am with you on the point about taking photos instead of intervening these days.
The Pope was mentioned - again with the phones in his face! And then when he actually attempted eye contact they were smiling down at the photo just taken instead!


This was a sad situation. Black smoke was very heavy and with the fire department stationed only a few yards away they did not even see it until a fellow concession owner ran up to tell them there was a fire. They then got off their cell phones and responded shortly after. A news photographer ran right past where they were stationed to get a picture of the stand going up in flames without telling the firemen first. He just had to get that first picture! And lastly the people standing around are pathetic and make me sick with having all their cell phones out taking pictures of what was going on instead of taking control of the situation and running to get help!!! The pictures were much more important... With one guy even telling everyone get out of my way of my pictures !! This world we live in today is so sad


PAtoMD you're being a little too critical.

You write as if the fire dept should have been keeping a close eye on everything as if they were the secret service and protecting the Pope. You act as if the fire dept should have had spotters hoisted in the air above the crowd via a ladder truck keeping a look out for the slightest sign of a fire. Because we all know how common fires are at the air.

You write about people being more concerned about taking pictures. But you were the first one to slam the fire dept. Enjoy the weekend!


Only a few yards away? More like 50 yards away and around the corner. Got off their cell phones and responded shortly after? Wrong again. They responded almost immediately with one fire fighter grabbing an extinguisher and, without protective equipment, attacked the fire to in an attempt to keep the flames from reaching the propane tanks. With all of your "facts" you might make a good reporter yourself.


the fire crews are not station just yards from where it happened, they were at least 50-75 yards away. Secondly, the photographer didn't rush by until he heard the call over his monitor, (thus the picture above after it happened). It is 2015, people are going to snap pictures. I find your "story" a bit tall telling pathetic, and plain sad.


I didn't know firefighters feelings were hurt so easily but hey everybody's offended these days.


You write non-realistic baloney. You got called out. And then you say "feelings were hurt". When no one expressed hurt feelings!! LOL

You're on a roll today!!!


KellyAlzan once again is the voice of reason...


Actually I thought your idea of hoisting firemen above the Fair was good. The comment about the proximity of propane tanks was sobering.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, insights and experiences, not personal attacks. Ad hominen criticisms are not allowed. Focus on ideas instead.
Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
No trolls. Off-topic comments and comments that bait others are not allowed.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
Say it once. No repeat or repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.