Camden Fire Department
Fire, Rescue, & Safety Operations
February 29, 2012 - 924 Atlantic Avenue - Page 1


This page and the other pages in this series are the successors to the series of web-page about the Camden Fire Department that began with the page Camden Fire Department: The Fires of the Summer of 2011. On this and other pages in the series you will find pictures and information regarding different events and aspects of the fire service in Camden, New Jersey. 

A rainy Wednesday morning, February 29, 2012 saw me getting into my car to run a few errands. I had no plans for photography that day, there were still a lot of pictures to be dealt with from the fire on Saunders Street the previous afternoon. However, these things do not happen by appointment. When the alarm sounds, one answers the call.

I was approaching Route 38 in Cherry Hill at 10:45 AM when tones came from County Dispatch sending units to 924 Atlantic Avenue for a possible heater malfunction... usually a routine investigation with little action and little drama. This was not to be the case. 

The Battalion Chief at the scene... I believe it was Battalion Chief Mark Harper... reported heavy smoke showing from a two story twin dwelling, and placed all hands in service. I had was on Whitman Avenue just east of Louis Street when a second alarm and a Mayday call came over the radio.... everyone out of the building and one firefighter not accounted for. What was going through my head and heart at that moment sort of defies description. 

Moment later I parked on Atlantic Avenue just below Mount Ephraim Avenue, a block from the fire, and ran down the street taking a few shots as I went. Arriving on scene I found that everyone was accounted for and soon would be checked by EMS personnel. Three firefighters, Captain Bryan Emenecker from Squad Company 7 and Captain Herb Leary and Firefighter Rich Johnston of Rescue Company 1 were transported to Cooper Hospital, treated, and released. What could have been a disaster of a proportion not seen since the 1906 Armory Fire was averted, in great part due to experience and the extensive ongoing training that Camden's firefighters undertake.

All photos are presented in the order in which they were taken. There are so many images for this fire that I have split coverage of this fire into two parts, this being Page 1. There is a link below to proceed to Page 2.

As with the web page covering other Camden Fire Department events, if you can identify anyone that I've missed, please e-mail me. (I'm terrible at at names and faces).. 

Phil Cohen
March 6, 2012

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FOX 29 NEWS - February 29, 2012

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Camden Firefighters Hospitalized After Blast

CAMDEN, N.J. - Three firefighters who were helping to fight a Camden house fire were hospitalized after an explosion occurred at the residence.

Officials would not provide details on the firefighters' injuries, but said they were not considered life-threatening. No other injuries were reported.

The blaze broke out at the Atlantic Avenue home around 10:30 a.m. Thursday, and the explosion occurred in the home's basement a short time later.

The cause of the fire and the blast remain under investigation 

6 ABC ACTION NEWS - February 29, 2012

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Three Firefghters Hurt Battling Camden Blaze

by Chad Pradelli

Camden NJ- Three firefighters were injured battling a two-alarm blaze in Camden on Wednesday morning. The exact nature of their injuries was not immediately known. All three firefighters were taken to Cooper University Hospital in Camden. The fire chief tells Action News that all three firefighters were alert and talking when they were transported.

The fire broke out in a row home around 11:00 a.m. in the 900 block of Atlantic Avenue. Firefighters responded to find smoke coming out of the chimney. They went inside to investigate and, once in the basement, heard three small explosions. They tried to escape and, at one point, one firefighter was unaccounted for and a mayday call went out over the fire radio. He eventually emerged from that home. 

The cause of the fire - as well as the source of the explosions - remains under investigation. No civilians were injured in this fire.

 

 
 
 

 
 

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** Page 2 **

Camden Courier-Post - March 1, 2012

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3 Firefighters Hurt In Camden Blaze

by George Mast

The firefighters were taken to Cooper University Hospital with non-life threatening injuries after escaping the home in a mad dash to safety. Two had been released as of Wednesday evening.

Fire Chief Michael Harper said firefighters arrived at the home in the 900 block of Atlantic Avenue around 10:45 a.m. and found heavy smoke coming from the chimney.

Conditions inside the home appeared calm at first, but upon entering the basement, a thick cloud of smoke engulfed the firefighters and a series of three explosions occurred, the chief said.

Harper said they fled from the home, some breaking through windows.

One firefighter was initially unaccounted for and a “mayday” call was broadcast, soliciting the response of additional companies. The firefighter was later found. Harper said the seemingly mundane fire call is an example of how quickly scenarios can change for firefighters. “This is something these guys do every day.”

An investigation into the cause of the fire and the explosions is ongoing. Harper said two adults and three children living in the home were displaced by the blaze. It was unclear whether any of the family members were at home when the fire broke out.

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Fire, Rescue and Safety Operations - 2012

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