Streets
of
Camden, NJ

Twenty-Fourth
Street


TWENTY-FOURTH STREET begins in what was originally called the Pavonia section of what is now considered Cramer Hill and ends in East Camden at Marlton Avenue. The street had already been laid out by the time the 1887-1888 Camden City Directory was published and was known as Union Street. The street begins at Harrison Avenue and runs south, across River Avenue to the Pavonia railroad switching yard, then to Federal Street, then to Marlton Avenue. As in all numbered streets in Camden, it is North 24th Street above Federal, and South 24th below.

Do you have a Twenty-Fourth Street memory or picture? Let me know by e-mail so it can be included here.

 Phil Cohen


 Cramer Hill & East Camden -1915

Click on Image to Enlarge


Looking West
from about
North 24th Street
&
Howell Street

Click Here for
 Supersized Image 1

Click Here for
Supersized Image 2


Intersection Harrison Avenue & North 24th Street

   
   

1200 Block of North 24th Street

  1238 North 24th Street
  1220 North 24th Street
  1214 North 24th Street
1206 North 24th Street

1924-1930s
James Young & Family
James & Florence Young
Marjorie Young
James J. Young

1206 North 24th Street

1931
Allen Palmer


Intersection Pierce Avenue & North 24th Street

   
Northeast Corner of North 24th Street & Pierce Avenue - October 6, 2011
   

1100 Block of North 24th Street

1144 North 24th Street

1880s-1931
Burkhardt Leo Buenzle & Family
Burkhardt Leo & Catherine A. Buenzle
Joseph Buenzle
Amelia Buenzle
William Buenzle

Burkhardt Buenzle operated a saloon at this location from 1893 through 1899.

Camden Courier-Post
February 9, 1928

Click Here for Complete Article

  1144 North 24th Street

1930s-1943
James A. Hinnershitz & Family
James A. & Margaret Hinnershitz
Edward Hinnershitz

1947 No return

1144 North 24th Street

Destroyed by fire
October 5, 2011

1144 North 24th Street

Destroyed by fire
October 5, 2011

Photo taken October 5, 2011

Click on Image to Enlarge

1144 North 24th Street

Destroyed by fire
October 5, 2011

Photo taken October 6, 2011

Click on Image to Enlarge

  1140 North 24th Street

1924 Jacob Miller
1929 No House Listed

1140 North 24th Street

Ensign Hilding Iver Wahl

1140 North 24th Street

1947 Joseph Grissom

Photo taken October 6, 2011

Click on Image to Enlarge

  1124 North 24th Street

lat 1880s-late 1910s
Conrad Brill & Family
Conrad & Anna Brill
Louis Brill

1119 North 24th Street

1956-1970s
Edward Kreher

1119, 1117, & 1115
North 24th Street

Photo Taken 2011

1117 North 24th Street

Photo Taken 2011

1108 North 24th Street

1938
Mrs. Lillian Moore

Camden Courier-Post
February 26, 1938

 

1108 North 24th Street

1938
Mrs. Lillian Moore

Camden Courier-Post
February 26, 1938

  1102 North 24th Street

 


Intersection Wayne Avenue & North 24th Street

   
   

1000 Block of North 24th Street

1046 North 24th Street

Photograph Taken
August 20, 2011

Click on Image to Enlarge

 

1024 North 24th Street

1929-1930s
James J. Slomkowski & Family
James & Katherine Slomkowski

1016 North 24th Street

1915
James Elberson

Philadelphia Inquirer
November 21 1915

1016, 1014, & 1012
 North 24th Street
1012 North 24th Street

1956 Al's Cafe
1959 Steve's Cafe
1964-1979
Little Tavern
1982 Gregory's Cafe
1985 No Bar in telephone directory

  1010 North 24th Street

1947 James Mullen
1949-1950 Charles T. Tufnell

  1006-1008 North 24th Street

1947 Joe Wandy's Chateau
tavern
Joseph Wandsleben

  1003 North 24th Street

Intersection of River Avenue & North 24th Street

Philadelphia Inquirer
December 15, 1906

Hugh Hatch - Mrs. Elizabeth Raley

 

 

 

 


900 Block of North 24th Street

946 North 24th Street

 

946 North 24th Street

 

  944 North 24th Street

 

  936 North 24th Street

 

  930 North 24th Street

 

  928 North 24th Street

1920 Alfred Miller
1920 Mrs. Rebecca Miller

928 North 24th Street

1924-1947 George L. Dotterer
1924-1974
Lawrence Samuel Dotterer Family

Photo from 2011

  926 North 24th Street

1947

  911 North 24th Street

1947

This is a picture in front of 909-911 North 24th Street, maybe around 1972. looking west towards the Delaware River There was a business located there called Reihmann Roofing, they did tar roofs. They were there my entire life at Cramer Hill 1965-1988

Kathy Cusumano
April 25, 2010

My husband has owned Riccardo Pizza on 26th and River Road since 1972.

 

909-911
North 24th Street

1947-1991
Max Reihmann & Son
roofers

Office at 2318 River Road

Ladder 3 and Ladder 1 combating Third Alarm fire in a large frame building on December  17, 1991. Captain Anthony D. Moffa in foreground.

909-911
North 24th Street

1947
Max Reihmann & Son
roofers

Office at 2318 River Road

Camden Fire Department members at work extinguishing a fire in a large frame building on December  17, 1991. 

Camden Courier-Post
December 18, 1991

  910 North 24th Street

1955-1956
Edward T. Irwin
Camden Fire Department

  909 North 24th Street

1979-1991 Claudius Bey

  908 North 24th Street
   
   

Intersection Arthur Avenue & North 24th Street

   
   

800 Block of North 24th Street

  Rear of Veterans Memorial Junior High School

Intersection Hayes Avenue & North 24th Street

   
   

700 Block of North 24th Street

  746 North 24th Street
  726 North 24th Street
711 North 24th Street

1899
Joseph Schneider & Family
carbuilder
Joseph & Susanna Braun Schneider
Joseph Schenider
John Schneider
Eugene Schneider
ReginA Schneider
Anna Schenider


Intersection Sherman Avenue & North 24th Street

   
   

600 Block of North 24th Street

  636 North 24th Street
  630 North 24th Street

1929 Raymond Harker
1930 Mrs. Elizabeth Griffee
1930 Harry E. Harker
1947 Paul Van Horn

630 North 24th Street

Private Harry E. Harker

628 North 24th Street

1900s-1920s
Peter Pfeffer & Family
Peter & Barbara Pfeffer
George Pfeffer (d. 1912)
Mary Pfeffer
Anna Pfeffer
Eugene Pfeffer
Agnes Pfeffer

Philadelphia Inquirer
December 23, 1912

Richard Dunn
Dr. David F. Bentley
Saunders Street

Click on Image
for PDF file
of Complete Article
 

  626 North 24th Street

Pavonia Railroad Yards

   

Intersection Howell Street & North 24th Street

   

Looking South from Howell Street - February 25, 2009 - Click on Image to Enlarge


100 Block of North 24th Street

  164 North 24th Street

1929 John D. Garbreaux
grocery

1940s Nick Orio's Grocery
mid 1950s - late 1970s A. Orio's Grocery

Antonio & Mary Orio came to East Camden from Philadelphia in the 1920s, and eventually settled at 131 North 24th Street, the corner of 24th & Howell Street. Son Nicholas Orio ran a grocery on the opposite corner by the mid 1940s. He turned the store over to brother Alphonse to run, and operated another grocery in the suburbs for many years.

  162 North 24th Street
  160 North 24th Street
  158 North 24th Street
  156 North 24th Street
  154 North 24th Street
  152 North 24th Street
  150 North 24th Street
  148 North 24th Street
  146 North 24th Street
  144 North 24th Street
  142 North 24th Street
  140 North 24th Street
  148 North 24th Street
  146 North 24th Street
  144 North 24th Street
  142 North 24th Street
  140 North 24th Street
  138 North 24th Street
  136 North 24th Street
  134 North 24th Street
  132 North 24th Street
  131 North 24th Street

1929 Antonio Orio Famiy
1929 Antonio & Mary Orio
1929 Dominick Orio
1929 Philomena Orio

  130 North 24th Street

1959 Harry Tracy

  129 North 24th Street
128 North 24th Street

1940 Frank Jackson

Camden Courier-Post
April 4, 1940

  128 North 24th Street
  126 North 24th Street
  126 North 24th Street
126, 124, 122 & 120
North 24th Street

March 19, 2012

  125 North 24th Street
124 North 24th Street

1898-1899
Lewis H. Morgan & Family
Lewis H. & Della Morgan
Thomas H. Morgan

Philadelphia Inquirer
January 6, 1899

  123 North 24th Street
  122 North 24th Street

1914
Frank Chambers & Family
brakeman
Frank & Letta Chambers

  122 North 24th Street

1942-1980s
Howard E. Doerschner & Family
Howard & Edna Doerschner

  121 North 24th Street
Louis Antonio Narvaez- Betancourt is one of two men shot and killed in his North 24th Street home Saturday night in Camden. 
120 North 24th Street

2012 Denarvaez P Betancourt 
2012 Paula Betancourt
2012 Louis Antonio Narvaez-Betancourt

Camden Courier-Post
March 19, 2012

Deadly night: 4 killed, 2 hurt in Camden

CAMDEN ó In a deadly span of less than an hour, two city men were shot dead in East Camden and another was fatally stabbed in the Whitman Park neighborhood on Saturday night. A fourth man died in a hit-and-run accident in the same period.

Authorities said the incidents, which followed at least one other shooting earlier Saturday, do not appear to be connected.

In the first incident, 31-year-old Bruce Matthews was found with multiple stab wounds at Louis and Everett streets at 10:35 p.m., according to the Camden County Prosecutorís Office. Matthews lived in the 1300 block of Chase Street, a short distance from where he was found.

Around 11:15 p.m., gunfire claimed two lives at a home in the 100 block of North 24th Street in East Camden, authorities said. Jose Ariel Paynes Garcia, 22, of the 2700 block of Federal Street, and Louis Antonio Narvaez-Betancourt, 32, were both found dead at Narvaez-Betancourtís home.

A 28-year-old man who lived at the home was wounded by the gunfire, authorities said. That man, whose identity was not released, remained at Cooper University Hospital as of Sunday evening. 

Authorities have not released a motive for either incident.

The hit-and-run victim, Edwin Cardona, 32, of the 900 block of 20th Street, was run down around 11 p.m. near River and Beideman avenues in East Camden, the prosecutorís office said. No additional details about that incident were available Sunday.

119 North 24th Street

1900s-1936 Charles H. Truitt

  118 North 24th Street
  118 North 24th Street
  116 North 24th Street
  115 North 24th Street
  114 North 24th Street
  113 North 24th Street
  112 North 24th Street
  111 North 24th Street

1890s-1900s Samuel H. Turner

  110 North 24th Street
  109 North 24th Street
  108 North 24th Street
108 North 24th Street

1910s-1920s John L. Wible

  106 North 24th Street
  105 North 24th Street
  104 North 24th Street
  103 North 24th Street
  102 North 24th Street
  101 North 24th Street

1910-1911 Levi Renner

  100 North 24th Street

1890s-1910s Ebenezer Jones
1906-1920 Levi & Kate Jones Wescott
1924-1933 Mrs. Kate Wescott
grocery
1947 Vacant


Intersection High Street & North 24th Street

   
   

Unit Block of North 24th Street

  52 North 24th Street
  51 North 24th Street
  50 North 24th Street
  49 North 24th Street
  48 North 24th Street
  47 North 24th Street
  46 North 24th Street
44 North 24th Street

1919-1920 Clay W. Reesman

  42 North 24th Street
  41 North 24th Street
  39 North 24th Street
  38 North 24th Street
  37 North 24th Street
  36 North 24th Street
  35 North 24th Street
  34 North 24th Street
33 North 24th Street

1932
George F. Kifferly & Family
truck driver
George F. & Elsie Kifferly
Elsie Kifferly
George F. Kifferly Jr.
Alfred Kifferly
Ethel Forrester (step-daughter)

Click Here
for Second Section of News Article

 

 


  32 North 24th Street
31 North 24th Street

1919-1920
Mrs. Ida Laxton & Family
Gwendolyn Laxton
Eric Laxton
Arthur Stanley "Ott" Laxton

  30 North 24th Street
  29 North 24th Street
26 North 24th Street
25 North 24th Street

1929-1930s
William Comerford Sr. Family
William & Ida Comerford
William Comerford Jr. & Family
William & Emma Comerford Jr.
William Comerford III
Frederick Comerford
Roland Comerford
Lawrence Comerford

24 North 24th Street

1930 Evelyn Christensen

Camden Courier-Post
December 13, 1930

  24 North 24th Street
23 North 24th Street

1903-1904
John Zane & Family
policeman
John & Sarah "Sallie" Zane
Jane "Jennie" Zane

Philadelphia Inquirer
May 1, 1903

John Harrop Morris
William Zane
Mamie McClintock
Rev. W.J. Beavon 
Grace Baptist Church

 

 

 

23 North 24th Street

1957
George L. Dahlberg & Family
George L. & Bertha L. Dahlberg
Kenneth Dahlberg
Doris Dahlberg

Camden Courier-Post
December 22, 1957

  21 North 24th Street
  20 North 24th Street
  19 North 24th Street
  18 North 24th Street
  16 North 24th Street
14 North 24th Street

1930s Russell J. Anderson
1929-1930s Estelle B. Anderson
Estelle Beauty Shop

Camden Courier-Post
June 4, 1932

  13 North 24th Street

1890s-1910s
Alva B. & Rose Warwick Family
Dr. Ralph A. Warwick

  11 North 24th Street

1924 Max Oklatner
1947 Louis Neumann
Mid 1950s-early 1970s
George Borland Family


Intersection of Federal Street & 24th Street 
Northwest Corner

2317-2319
Federal Street

Jacob Naden's Store

1940s

Northwest Corner

2317-2319
Federal Street

October 7, 1947

HURLEY'S DEPARTMENT STORE
East Camden Branch

Northwest Corner

2317-2319
Federal Street

La Guadalupana
Mexican Restaurant

July 23, 2005

Looking North
on
24th Street
from
Federal Street

July 23, 2005

Click on Image to Enlarge

Looking North on 24th Street from Federal Street * August 18, 2011 * Click on Image to Enlarge

Looking North
on
24th Street
from
Federal Street

August 18, 2011

Click on Image to Enlarge

Northeast Corner

24th & Federal Street

2401, 2403, 2405
Federal Street

1956

Click on Image to Enlarge

Northeast Corner

24th & Federal Street

2401
Federal Street

July 23, 2005

Southeast Corner

24th & Federal Street

2400 Federal Street

The East Side Cafe

October 5, 2003

Click on Image to Enlarge

Southeast Corner

24th & Federal Street

2400 Federal Street

The East Side Cafe

October 5, 2003

Click on Image to Enlarge


Unit Block of South 24th Street

COP SAVES CHILDREN WHEN HORSE BOLTS
Seizes Animal Which Had Been Crazed by Sting of Bee 

Stung by a bee, a runaway horse endangered the lives of children in East Camden yesterday, struck two automobiles and was finally seized and halted by a policeman after a mad dash of two blocks. 

The horse was attached to a wagon of the Scott Powell dairies and ran away while its driver, Hugh Wood, of Marlton Pike and Federal Streets, was delivering milk on South Twenty-fourth Street near Federal. The runaway occurred shortly before noon. 

Suddenly, the animal reared in the shafts of the wagon and galloped north on South Twenty-fourth Street. Nearing Federal Street, the wagon struck the automobile of Howard Johnson, of 6037 Jefferson Avenue, Merchantville, and the truck of J. Roy McKay, 2402 Federal Street

After crashing into the automobiles, the horse freed itself from the shafts as the wagon was upset in the street, strewing quarts of milk over the highway. As the frenzied animal continued its dash, mothers ran screaming into the street, seized their children and hurried with them to safety. 

At Twenty-fifth and Federal Street, Policeman Walter Christy saw the animal and seized it by its bridle as it passed. Christy was dragged several feet before he could halt the horse, which suffered only slight leg injuries in the runaway. 

Camden Courier-Posyt
June 21, 1933


Intersection of South 24th Street & Carman Street
Looking East on Carman Street
from
South 24th Street

June 30, 2006

Click on Image to Enlarge


Unit Block of South 24th Street


45 South 24th Street

1907-1910
Harry F. Stains & Family
aka Frank H. Stains
Harry F. & Reva A. Stains
Cameron F. Stains

Harry F. Stains Co.
photographers


45 South 24th Street

1914-1917
Mrs. Reva A. Stains & Family

Cameron F. Stains

2006 Gone

50 South 24th Street

1955
Davis Refrigeration

1955 New Jersey Bell Telephone
Yellow Pages Ad

2011 Gone

50 & 52
South 24th Street

Photo Taken August 9, 2011

Click on Images to Enlarge

 

  51 South 24th Street

1933 Arthur C. Riggins

2006 Gone

52 South 24th Street

 52
South 24th Street

Photo Taken August 9, 2011

Click on Images to Enlarge

  53 South 24th Street

2006 Gone

RADIO LICENSE GRANTED

Washington, June 5.-The Federal Radio Commission today granted a modified license for operating an am≠ateur transmitting station to Arthur H. Schmick, 54 South Twenty-fourth Street, Camden. The station has the call letters W3ACZ. New licenses were granted Charles B. Dickson, Pitman, for station W3DSI, and Jo≠seph Deal; Bridgeton, for W3DSW. 

54 South 24th Street

1933 Arthur H. Schmick

Camden Courier-Post
June 6, 1933

54 South 24th Street

Photo Taken August 9, 2011

Click on Images to Enlarge

54 & 56
South 24th Street

Photo Taken August 9, 2011

Click on Images to Enlarge

  55 South 24th Street

2006 Gone

56 South 24th Street

Photo Taken August 9, 2011

Click on Images to Enlarge

  57 South 24th Street

2006 Gone

58 South 24th Street

Photo Taken August 9, 2011

Click on Images to Enlarge

Damaged by fire on December 23, 2011

58 & 60
South 24th Street

Photo Taken August 9, 2011

Click on Images to Enlarge

Damaged by fire on December 23, 2011

58, 60, & 62
South 24th Street

Houses damaged by fire
Approximately 2:00 AM
December 23, 2011

Photo Taken 10:03 AM
December 23, 2011

Click on Images to Enlarge

Rear of 58, 60, & 62
South 24th Street
(Left to Right 62, 60, & 58)

Houses damaged by fire
Approximately 2:00 AM
December 23, 2011

Photo Taken 10:03 AM
December 23, 2011

Click on Images to Enlarge


59 South 24th Street

1903-1904
Harry F. Stains & Family
aka Frank H. Stains
Harry F. & Reva A. Stains
Cameron F. Stains

Harry F. Stains Co.
photographers

59 South 24th Street

1915 Herman Miller

Philadelphia Inquirer
March 20, 1915

2006 Gone

O. Glen Stackhouse

60 South 24th Street

Photo Taken August 9, 2011

Click on Images to Enlarge

On December 23 2011 this building was the scene of a two-alarm fire. Companies arrived with heavy fire showing. EMS transported one victim rescued from the dwelling. Two other victims were also transported. Crews had heavy fire conditions in the original fire building spreading to adjacent homes. A second alarm was struck and additional companies were requested. Crews placed multiple lines in operation. Fire was placed under control around the 2 hour mark. 

Pictures of this fire by Ted Aurig
can be seen here
.

60 South 24th Street

Photo Taken December 23, 2011

Click on Images to Enlarge

Pictures of this fire by Ted Aurig
can be seen here
.

 

60 South 24th Street

Photo Taken December 23, 2011

Click on Images to Enlarge

Pictures of this fire by Ted Aurig
can be seen here
.

 

60 South 24th Street

Photo Taken 10:03 AM
December 23, 2011

Click on Images to Enlarge

 

  61 South 24th Street

Destroyed by Fire May 25, 1996
Seven other homes were also lost

62 South 24th Street

Photo Taken August 9, 2011

Click on Images to Enlarge

Damaged by fire on December 23, 2011

62 & 64
South 24th Street

Photo Taken August 9, 2011

Click on Images to Enlarge

  63 South 24th Street

Destroyed by Fire May 25, 1996
Seven other homes were also lost

64 South 24th Street

Photo Taken August 9, 2011

Click on Images to Enlarge

  65 South 24th Street

2006 Gone



Click on Images to Enlarge

66 South 24th Street

On December 23rd, 2006, the Camden City Fire Department was dispatched to 66 24th Street for a reported dwelling fire.

Engine 9 (Kinky), Ladder 3 (Magee), and Battalion 2 (Depascale) arrived and reported a 2 story MOD with heavy fire coming from the 2nd floor.

Companies attempted to go into service with a handline but were unable to due to the electrical box on the porch arching.

Battalion 2 also reported that he had power lines down on the top of Tower Ladder 3. Battalion 2 requested the all hands which gave him Squad 7 and Battalion 1. Minutes later he also requested an additional engine and truck bringing Tower Ladder 1 and Engine 1 to the scene.

Companies on scene encountered heavy fire conditions in the original fire building, and were forced to evacuate due to structural instability. They then began to protect the exposures. Multiple handlines were used at the scene along with several big lines, and Engine Company 9's Deck Gun.

Fire was placed under control approximately 45 minutes from dispatch. There were no reported injuries at the scene.

SEE VIDEO

66 South 24th Street

Photo Taken August 9, 2011

Click on Images to Enlarge

66 & 68
South 24th Street

Photo Taken August 9, 2011

Click on Images to Enlarge

  67 South 24th Street

2006 Gone

68 South 24th Street

Photo Taken August 9, 2011

Click on Images to Enlarge

  69 South 24th Street

2006 Gone

70 South 24th Street

1924 Philip J. & Bertha Carlin
1924 Philip "Johnny Toomey" Carlin
1924 Daniel "Danny" Toomey
1924 William "Billy" Toomey
1924 Jake Carlin
1929 Albert N. Duncan
1947 William O. Cunningham

Photo Taken August 9, 2011

Click on Images to Enlarge

70 & 72
South 24th Street

Photo Taken August 9, 2011

Click on Images to Enlarge

  71 South 24th Street

2006 Gone

72 South 24th Street

1910s-1942 William Boettcher Sr.
policeman
1947 Nicholas Auletto

Photo Taken August 9, 2011

Click on Images to Enlarge

73 South 24th Street

1931
Howard Gick

2006 Gone

74 South 24th Street

Photo Taken August 9, 2011

Click on Images to Enlarge

74 & 76
South 24th Street

Photo Taken August 9, 2011

Click on Images to Enlarge

  75 South 24th Street

2006 Gone

76 South 24th Street

1900
George Osler

Photo Taken August 9, 2011

Click on Images to Enlarge


76 South 24th Street

1924-1943
Charles Laib & Family
Charles & Sibella Laib

  77 South 24th Street

2006 Gone

  79 South 24th Street

2006 Gone

  81 South 24th Street

2006 Gone


Intersection Mickle Street & South 24th Street
Click on Images to Enlarge

Northeast Corner of South 24th & Mickle Street - August 9, 2011

Southeast Corner
of
South 24th & Mickle Street 

Photo Taken August 8, 2011

Click on Image to Enlarge 

 

Southeast Corner of South 24th & Mickle Street - August 9, 2011
Southwest Corner of South 24th & Mickle Street - August 9, 2011
Northwest Corner of South 24th & Mickle Street - August 9, 2011

Intersection of Mickle Street & South 24th Street
Fire at 100 South 24th Street - May 15, 2011
Photos by Gabriel Angemi

Click on Image to Enlarge

Click Here to Supersize

Camden Fire Department Tower Ladder 3 Operating on Mickle Street

Click on Image to Enlarge * Click Here to Supersize

Looking to the Northeast Corner of South 24th & Mickle Streets

Click on Image to Enlarge * Click Here to Supersize


100 Block of South 24th Street

100 South 24th Street

1924 Frederick Seeger
1924 Julius Baldyga
1933 Raymond Jacobson
grocery
1947 Benjamin J. Levecchio
grocery
2008 Vacant

Destroyed by Fire May 15, 2011

Photo Taken August 8, 2011

Click on Image to Enlarge 

100 South 24th Street

Destroyed by Fire May 15, 2011

Photo Taken August 8, 2011

Click on Image to Enlarge 

102 South 24th Street

Photo Taken August 8, 2011

Click on Image to Enlarge 

  104 South 24th Street
  106 South 24th Street
  108 South 24th Street

1947-1950 John & Stella McGowan
1956 Stella McGowan

  110 South 24th Street
  112 South 24th Street
  114 South 24th Street
  116 South 24th Street
  118 South 24th Street
  120 South 24th Street
122 South 24th Street

1927
William E. Jaeckel

  124 South 24th Street
  128 South 24th Street

Intersection Marlton Avenue & South 24th Street

   
   

Philadelphia Inquirer - May 26, 1996

Fire destroys row of houses in Camden
The blaze started in an abandoned house and spread.
 Several people were evacuated, including two
described as squatters. One firefighter was injured. 

By Suzanne Sataline
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

A smoky fire that started last night in an abandoned Camden rowhouse spread to seven other houses, destroying the block, before it was brought under control by firefighters.

None of the residents on the block, South 24th Street, between Mickle Street and Carman Street, was hurt in the three-alarm blaze, Camden fire officials said. Firefighters banged on doors to summon residents, evacuating tenants from three inhabited houses. All eight buildings were destroyed.

Firefighter Ramon Melendez was taken to a hospital, suffering from smoke inhalation, said Camden Fire Chief Kenneth Penn.

Two women living as squatters in an abandoned house at 61 S. 24th St. were rescued by a ladder truck from the second floor, Penn said.

At another home, firefighters pulled a woman to safety after she tried to rescue her German shepherd, trapped inside. The firefighter retrieved the dog, limp from the smoke, and administered oxygen to the animal, said New Jersey police investigator Martin Schwartz.

"They had trouble controlling her. She wouldn't leave the house because of the dog" Schwartz said.

The woman's other dog was pulled away by neighbors.

Schwartz is part of the state police task force that has patrolled Camden since January. Gov. Whitman announced last week that the officers would be leaving Camden this weekend. 

The fire broke out at 7:21 p.m. at 63 S. 24th St., and wasn't brought under control until two hours later, firefighters said. Penn said the fire spread quickly up the row of houses, traveling through a common attic area of the homes.

Penn said it was too soon to tell what sparked the fire.

Residents on Carman Street said they could hear firefighters shouting that there was no water coming from their hoses. Penn said the fire hydrants on the block could not produce enough water to fight the escalating blaze, and so the battalion chief quickly called in for backup pumpers. At no time, he said, were firefighters without water.

Maria Rodriguez, who lives a few blocks away and has friends on the block said one of the abandoned houses was known as a drug house where dealing took place day and night.

"You see it in the streets. You see the raids by the cops. Everything," she said.

Two of the residents, Jose Jimenez and roommate Saul Cabral, escaped after smoke poured into their living room. They were unharmed. But the two men, strugging to make new lives after moving from El Salvador and Cuba, lost all their furniture, including the dining room set purchased last month.

 "They had set up everything real nice," Rodriguez said. "They started with nothing. It seems now they'll have to start all over again.  


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