Flames overtook Jumbo Jimmy's Crab Shack, causing $1 million in damage. Photo: Cecilton Volunteer Fire Company

Fire Destroys Popular Upper Bay Crab Restaurant

Flames ripped through Jumbo Jimmy’s Crab Shack in Cecil County, Maryland, on Sunday morning, causing a devastating $1 million in damage.

Jumbo Jimmy’s was a fixture in the Susquehanna River town of Port Deposit since it opened 20 years ago. It had changed hands a few months back, spruced up the menu and added weekend breakfast.

But on Sunday around 10:30 a.m., employees at the one-story restaurant discovered a fire. Early reports to the fire department said it originated with a propane tank just outside the restaurant, but the Office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s investigation report says it started in an interior kitchen.

The Community Fire Company of Perryville Maryland was first to arrive and quickly called for mutual aid from surrounding fire companies. The fire escalated to two alarms, and ultimately about 80 firefighters were involved in getting the fire under control.

A birds-eye view of Jumbo Jimmy’s Crab Shack, leveled by fire. Photo: Sophia Heverin/Facebook

They came from Cecil and Harford counties and as far away as Chester County, Pennsylvania, , Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and New Castle County, Delaware to help with fire and overhaul operations.

The restaurant building also has apartments attached, but thankfully, no one was injured there or in the restaurant.

However, the restaurant’s employees are left without jobs just before the holidays. Jumbo Jimmy’s manager, Sophia Heverin, started a GoFundMe campaign to support the 22 full- and part-time employees.

A fellow restaurant, Place at the Bottom of the Hill in nearby Rising Sun, Maryland, has an “angel tree” set up for those who want to contribute holiday gifts for children of the Jumbo Jimmy’s workers.

Heverin says the restaurant just underwent renovations in July after changing ownership. In a Facebook post she writes, “Our team spent countless hours cleaning, painting, redoing floors, whatever it took to open the doors. Then finally July 7th we opened. Our team worked hard, they were proud of their place at Jimmy’s Crab Shack. We will miss this place.”

The state fire marshal’s office is still investigating the preliminary cause of the fire.

-Meg Walburn Viviano