Camden Fire Department
Fire, Rescue, & Safety Operations
March 10, 2012 - 632 & 634 Point Street

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 criminal trespasser died and another severely injured when the house they were illegally occupying was destroyed by fire in the early morning hours of Saturday, March 10, 2012. The house at 632 Point Street and an adjacent abandoned dwelling at 634 were destroyed by fire, as was 636 Point which was already in ruins.

The alarm came in at 4:35 AM. Battalion 2 reported heavy fire showing from two story end of row and reported people trapped and one burn victim out front. Command struck the all hands as fire extended to the exposure dwelling. Fire extended to exposure "D" & "D1", multiple hand lines in service, and a special called was placed for an an additional ladder. One victim was found dead inside the dwelling. The female victim who had escaped from the burning building was transported to the hospital with serious burns. A firefighter received a minor leg injury. 

More photos of this fire can be seen at

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 23, 2012




ACTION NEWS - March 10, 2012

One dead, another hurt in Camden fire

A fast-moving fire in South Jersey claimed a life, and left a woman in the fight of her life.

The blaze started inside a home on the 600 block of Point Street in Camden early Saturday morning.

The flames quickly spread to at least two other homes.

One person did not escape the fire alive.

A woman was rescued from the burning home and rushed to Cooper University Hospital in Camden. A source tells Action News that she is listed in critical condition with severe burns. She is being transported to Temple University Hospital's burn unit.

Firefighters are still on scene hosing down hot spots.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

Camden Courier-Post - March 10, 2012

1 dead, 1 injured in Camden fire

Written by Joe Cooney/Courier-Post Staff

CAMDEN A man was killed and a woman was seriously burned in an early-morning fire here on the 600 block of Point Street. A firefighter also suffered an ankle injury battling the blaze.

The fast-moving one-alarm fire broke out about 4:30 a.m. in a vacant row home and spread to the dwelling next door, which was also vacant. Both buildings were completely demolished in the fire.

According to Camden Chief Fire Marshal Paul Sandrock Jr., the unidentified man’s body was located on the first floor of the building after the fire was extinguished and the dwelling had collapsed. The woman, also unidentified, was found outside; she suffered burns to more than 80% of her body. She is reported to be in critical condition at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia.

Sandrock said the fire is not suspicious, and the cause is under investigation.

Philadelphia Inquirer - March 10, 2012

Police investigating fatal fire in Camden

Authorities are asking for the public's help in identifying a victim of a house fire in Camden early Saturday that killed a man and critically burned a woman.

Around 3 a.m., a fire spread through two vacant rowhouses in the 600 block of Point Street, said Jason Laughlin, a spokesman for the Camden County Prosecutor's office. The connecting wall between the properties had been knocked down and a number of squatters had been living in the buildings.

The man was found dead and badly burned in a second-floor bedroom. He was wearing a religious medallion around his neck which investigators hope may help identify him. The man was described as being about five-foot-eight and very slightly built.

The female victim, a 20-year-old from Atco, N.J., was in very critical condition, with burns covering 60 percent of her body. Laughlin said she was burned while trying to rescue the other victim. Investigators have been unable to interview her.

The cause of the fire was not believed to be suspicious, Laughlin said, with investigators saying candles may have caused the blaze.

Anyone with information is asked to call Camden City detective Randy Smith 856-757-7420, or Camden County Prosecutor investigator Rich Nicolella at 856-225-8436.

- Mike Newall.






ACTION NEWS - March 11, 2012

Officials seek help ID'ing Camden fire victim

Camden, NJ - March 10, 2012 (WPVI) -- Camden fire officials need the public's help identifying a man killed in an Saturday morning fire.

The two-alarm fire broke out around 4:30 a.m. along the 600 block of Point Street.

The flames quickly spread to the adjoining homes on both sides.
One man was found dead and a woman suffered burns all over her body. She was taken to Temple University Hospital in critical condition.

Authorities say the man's body was found inside one of the three homes destroyed.

They released pictures of the religious necklace the victim was wearing in hopes of identifying him..

FOX 29 - March 11, 2012

Neighbors: Deadly Fire Was Avoidable

CAMDEN, N.J. - A fast-moving fire killed a man in Camden and neighbors say this could have been avoided.

The fire broke out early Saturday morning in an abandoned home on Point street.

People who live on the block say they've wanted this place torn down for years, but the city never did anything about it.

Demolition crews were working all day to knock down these two homes, both of which were abandoned.

Neighbors say they've been begging the city to knock them down because their biggest fear came true.

By the time firefighters arrived and put out the flames, officials say one man was dead and a woman was critically injured.

It was the nightmare Jackie Vasquez and other neighbors have tried warning Camden city officials of for years.

Vasquez says the abandoned homes had become a popular site for squatters, and that had become a very dangerous problem. 

"This is actually the third time that building has been on fire. I have actually called the city. I have approached the city. I have petitioned the city to try to have the building knocked down,” she said.

As demolition crews cleaned up what was left of the two structures, Vasquez wished the city had listened to her and her neighbors request.

Fox 29 tried to contact city officials regarding the complaints and were not able to speak to anyone.

Fire officials have not identified the cause of the fire or what or what the couple was doing in the building. .

Philadelphia Inquirer - March 12, 2012

Camden police seek identity of fire victim

A day after a fire in Camden killed a man early Saturday, authorities were still seeking his identity.

The man was wearing a religious medallion on a chain. The medallion has been identified as the medal of the Infant of Prague, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, authorities said. An inscription on it reads: "Regina Sacri Scapularis Ora Pro Nobis."

The blaze spread through two vacant rowhouses on the 600 block of Point Street about 3 a.m., said Jason Laughlin, a spokesman for the Camden County Prosecutor's Office. The connecting wall between the properties had been knocked down and several squatters were living in the buildings.

The victim was found dead and badly burned in a second-floor bedroom. He was described as about 5 feet, 8 inches tall with an extremely slight build.

Anyone with information on the victim's identity is asked to call Rich Nicolella, an investigator with the Prosecutor's Office, at 856-225-8436, or Camden police Detective Randy Smith at 856-757-7420.

  - Darran Simon..

Gloucester County Times - March 13, 2012

Mantua man identified as Camden fire victim

By John Barna

A Mantua Township man has been identified as the person killed in a fire last weekend in an abandoned Camden row home.

Charles Thorpe, 28, was identified through dental records, Camden County Prosecutor Warren W. Faulk said Tuesday.

A 20-year-old Atco woman who suffered third degree burns in the fire remained Tuesday in treatment at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia. She is in critical but stable condition, a spokesman for 
Faulk said.

Thorpe and the woman were staying in an abandoned home in the 600 block of Point Street in Camden. Burning candles appear to have started the fire in the home about 3 a.m. Saturday.

Thorpe’s body was discovered in a first floor room..

Return To Camden Fire Department
Fire, Rescue and Safety Operations - 2012