Camden Fire Department
The Fires of the Summer of 2011
September 19, 2011
1227 North 28th Street


After budget cuts brought on in great part by poor leadership at the state level from both political parties under Governors Whitman, McGreevey, Codey, and Corzine the City of Camden laid of a large number of its professional fire department at the end of 2010. Former Chief David A. Yates had offered three plans on how to cope with the situation, all were rejected by parties at Camden's City Hall, and a plan for the Fire Department, which to date I have not been able to find out who authored, was handed back to the Chief. Chief Yates subsequently chose to retire, and Chief Michael Harper was appointed as his replacement. Chief Harper inherited a no-win situation, and the losses began almost immediately. With Fire companies closed in different parts of the city, response times to fire calls increased, homes that could have been saved were destroyed, and civilians injured. 

June and July saw four large and abandoned industrial properties go up in flames, with one blaze, on  on June 9, fat the abandoned warehouse on Chestnut Street that formerly housed the Reliable Tire Company, going to 12 alarms.  Ten occupied homes were completely destroyed, as were all the industrial buildings, and thirteen other homes on Chestnut Street were badly damaged by smoke and water. August was relatively quiet, fire-wise, although the department was kept quite busy with other calls, including two jobs relating to the earthquake and numerous non-fire runs relating to Hurricane Irene.

Shortly after roll call on the morning of August 26th, the Camden Fire Department was summoned to fight a fire in the 500 block of Jackson Street. Four vacant units, 547, 549, 551, and 553 Jackson Street, were destroyed.

Ten minutes before roll call on Friday, 500 block of Jackson Street. Received a few calls for fire in a vacant. Battalion 1 arrived and reported fire on the first floor, middle of the row vacant, ordered Engine 10 to pick up the hydrant at 6th and Jackson, and transmitted the all hands. Car 3 reported at 10 minutes heavy fire 1st and 2nd floors, companies opening up, fire extending to Bravo and Delta exposures. At 20 minutes Car 3 reported multiple handlines stretched and operating, fire conditions still on 1st and 2nd floors. Original fire building 549 Jackson Street. Responding companies were Squad 7, Engine 10, Ladder 1, Ladder 3, Rescue 1, Battalion 1. On the all hands - Engine 1, Engine 9, and Car 3. At 30 minutes Car 3 reported still operating with multiple handlines, making good progress, fire probable will hold. At 40 minutes Car 3 placed fire under control. Time received 0650 hours, Fire under control 0632 hours.

The quiet time for for fires ended on September 9, 2011 with a bedroom fire at 3037 Mount Ephraim Avenue. 

Companies dispatched to 3037 Mt. Ephraim Avenue at 1547 hours, report of smoke from windows. Initial dispatch - Engine 10, Squad 7, Ladder 1, Ladder 3, Rescue 1 Battalion 1. Upon receiving more calls reporting same Engine 1 was added as the second source Engine. Battalion 1 arrived with smoke showing, Engine 10 had a hydrant and was stretching a handline, Rescue 1 was conducting a primary search, and ladder 1 would open up 2nd Floor upon arrival. Car 3 responded and took command. Searches were negative, fire under control at 1610 hours, Fire marshal requested to respond.

This fire is being investigated as an arson. Witnesses saw youths running from the property at the time the fire broke out.

Twenty-four hours and some odd minutes later, the Camden Fire Department would be called on again, to put out a kitchen fire at 191 Ablett Village. 

Calls for smoke from Apartment 191 Ablett Village at 1621 hours. Initial dispatch - Engine 11, Engine 1, Ladder 3, Ladder 1, Rescue 1 and Battalion 1. Squad 7 dispatched as second source company. Engine 11 arrived and reported light smoke, being waved in. Battalion 1 arrived and reported Engine 11 was stretching a handline, companies operating with a kitchen fire. At 1635 Battalion 1 reported fire contained to the first floor kitchen, primary search negative, companies ventilating. Fire under control 1635 hours.

On September 14 another home was struck by fire, this time at 3155 Merriel Avenue in East Camden.

At 1254 hours companies dispatched to the rear of 3176 Westfield Ave for report of a dwelling fire. Engine 9, Engine 11, Ladder 3, Ladder 1 (FAST TRUCK), Rescue 1 and Battalion 1. Tower Ladder 3 arrived with a two-story middle of the row dwelling, heavy smoke showing. Squad 7 dispatched as the second source company. Battalion 1 shortly after 10 minute mark reported Engine 9 had the bulk of the fire on the second floor knocked down, Ladder 3 conducted a primary search with negative results and was ventilating. Fire under control 1307 hours, All Hands was NOT struck. Correct address 3155 Merriel Avenue. EMS dispatched for an occupant with chest pain. 

Fire hit another residence on the afternoon of September 19, 2001. An occupied end-of-row home at 1227 North 28th Street, the corner of North 28th Street and Polk Avenue in Cramer Hill, was all but destroyed by a fire which reportedly had its origins in a defective window air-conditioner on the first floor. As the adjacent homes had already been razed, no other properties were damaged. '

At 1339 hours calls were received for fire from a dwelling at 28th and Polk. Companies dispatched - Engine 11, Engine 9, Engine 1 (second source engine), Ladder 3, Ladder 1 (Fast Truck), Rescue 1, and Battalion 1. Engine 11 arrived with a 2 story end of the row dwelling heavily involved. At 10 minutes Battalion 1 reported a 2 story ordinary, no exposures, heavy fire throughout, companies making good progress. Car 3 arrived (Deputy Chief DiPascale), and reported multiple handlines stretched and operating, truck company opening up, and the Rescue conducting a primary search. Companies making good progress, fire probable will hold. At 1409, 30 minutes in, Car 3 placed the fire under control. Car 6 also responded, and a firefighter was transported for a minor injury.

Firefighter Luis Sanchez was slightly injured when embers from falling debris got beneath his helmet and into his uniform. Firefighter Jon Martin was also slightly injured by falling embers. Both quickly returned to duty. 

Many thanks to Fire Dispatcher Matt DeGailler for his help with the accounts of how these fires were handled.

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
September 21, 2011

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Jose Melendez

Jose Melendez

Jose Melendez

Daniel Baker

Daniel Baker Daniel Baker

Chris Edwards - _____ - Luis Sanchez - ________

_____ - Luis Sanchez - Dennis Delgado

_____ - Luis Sanchez - ________

Chris Edwards - _____ - Luis Sanchez - Dennis Delgado - ________ - Julio Ramos

Chris Edwards - _____ - Luis Sanchez - Dennis Delgado - ________ - Julio Ramos

Chris Edwards - _____ - Luis Sanchez - Dennis Delgado - ________ - Julio Ramos

Dennis Delgado - ____________ - Julio Ramos

Chris Edwards - _____ - Luis Sanchez

_______ - Luis Sanchez - Daniel Baker

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Jose Melendez - Juan Figueroa - ______________

Jose Melendez - Juan Figueroa - ______________

Juan Figueroa - ______________

Jose Melendez - Juan Figueroa - ______________ - Dennis Delgado

 

 

 

Juan Figueroa - Dennis Delgado

_____________ - Jose Melendez _____________ - Jose Melendez

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Julio Ramos - Joel Bain

Julio Ramos - Joel Bain

Julio Ramos - Joel Bain

Julio Ramos - Joel Bain Julio Ramos - Joel Bain

Julio Ramos

Juan Figueroa

 Joel Bain - Julio Ramos

 Joel Bain - Julio Ramos

Julio Ramos

 Joel Bain - Julio Ramos

 Joel Bain - Julio Ramos  Joel Bain

 

 Joel Bain

 Joel Bain

 Joel Bain - Julio Ramos

 Joel Bain  Joel Bain

 Joel Bain - Julio Ramos

 Joel Bain

 Joel Bain - Julio Ramos

 Joel Bain

Julio Ramos

Julio Ramos - Joel Bain

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__________ - Andy Guzman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andy Guzman - Mike Labar

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Andy Guzman - Mike Labar Andy Guzman - Mike Labar

 

 
Mike Labar

Mike Labar

There was A LOT of smoke. Left image is straight out of the camera, right has enhanced contrast


Mike Labar

Andy Guzman - Gabe Angemi - Ed Frontado - Battalion Chief Frank Saia

Andy Guzman - _________ - Ed Frontado - Battalion Chief Frank Saia - Chris Broccoli

Battalion Chief Frank Saia - Ed Frontado - Chris Broccoli

Ed Frontado - Chris Broccoli

Daniel Baler - Shane Belcher - Gabe Angemi - Jose Berrios

Gabe Angemi - Jose Berrios

Gabe Angemi - Jose Berrios - _______ - Battalion Chief Frank Saia

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_________ - Daniel Baker

Ed Frontado

Chris Broccoli - Jesse Flax

 
 

Jesse Flax - Chris Broccoli - Gabe Angemi

Officer J. Maddox - Phil Tally

Officer J. Maddox

Jose Melendez

_______________ - Battalion Chief Frank Saia

 

Kevin Seybold - Officer J. Maddox

Battalion Chief Mike DePascale - ______________

Chris Edwards

Battalion Chief Frank Saia

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Dennis Delgado

Luis Sanchez

Craig Scott - Howard Jones - Chris Govan

________ - Shane Belcher - Phil Tally - Jose Berrios - Kevin Seybold - BC Mike Depascale

Shane Belcher - ________ - Phil Tally - Jose Berrios - Kevin Seybold - Dennis Delgado

Shane Belcher - ________ - Phil Tally - Jose Berrios - Kevin Seybold - Dennis Delgado

Shane Belcher - ________ - Phil Tally - Jose Berrios - Kevin Seybold

Jose Berrios - Kevin Seybold - _____ Phil Tally - ________ - Jose Berrios

Luis Sanchez - Battalion Chief Don Johnson

Luis Sanchez

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Chris Edwards - Barry Kellem - ___________

Chris Edwards - Barry Kellem - ___________

Howard Jones - Gabe Angemi

 Gabe Angemi  Gabe Angemi

 Gabe Angemi

 Gabe Angemi  Gabe Angemi

Chris Broccoli


Chris Broccoli


 

________ - Gabe Angemi - ______________ - ___________

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Chris Govan - Howard Jones - Craig Scott


Craig Scott

Chris Govan - Howard Jones

 

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Deputy Chief Mike DiPascale

Battalion Chief Frank Saia - Joel Bain

Battalion Chief Frank Saia - Joel Bain - Mike Labar - Julio Ramos - Jon Martin

Battalion Chief Frank Saia - Joel Bain - Mike Labar

Battalion Chief Frank Saia

Joel Bain - Mike Labar Julio Ramos - Jon Martin

Jon Martin - Julio Ramos

Julio Ramos Jon Martin

Mike Labar - ___________

Kevin Seybold

Shane Belcher

Phil Tally - Jose Berrios

Phil Tally Jose Berrios

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Deputy Chief Mike DiPascale

Juan Figueroa - Dennis Delgado

Ted Balabuch - ___________ - Battalion Chief DOn Johnson - Daniel Baker

Ted Balabuch

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Chris Govan - Howard Jones - __________

Jon Martin

Jon Martin

Jon Martin

Jon Martin

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Gabe Aagemi - Ed Frontado - Chris Broccoli - Jesse Flax

 

Juan Figueroa and his father; Andy Guzman at lower right

Barry Kellem - Jose Melendez - Battalion Chief Frank Saia

Barry Kellem - Jose Melendez - Battalion Chief Frank Saia

Jose Melendez - Battalion Chief Frank Saia

Barry Kellem - Jose Melendez

Barry Kellem - Jose Melendez

Jose Melendez - Barry Kellem

Jose Melendez - Barry Kellem

Jose Melendez - Barry Kellem

Jose Melendez - Barry Kellem

Jose Melendez

Jose Melendez

Jose Melendez - Barry Kellem

Jose Melendez - Barry Kellem

Jose Melendez - Barry Kellem

Barry Kellem - Jose Melendez

Jose Melendez

Jose Melendez - Barry Kellem

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Juan Figueroa

Juan Figueroa

Joel Bain

 

Craig Scott - Howard Jones

Chris Edwards - Howard Jones

Chris Edwards - Craig Scott - Howard Jones

Kevin Seybold - Juan Figueroa - Andy Guzman - Dennis Delgado - Daniel Baker - Phil Tally

Kevin Seybold - Juan Figueroa - Andy Guzman - Dennis Delgado
Daniel Baker - Phil Tally

Kevin Seybold
Juan Figueroa
Andy Guzman
Dennis Delgado
Daniel Baker

Kevin Seybold - Juan Figueroa - Andy Guzman- Dennis Delgado - Daniel Baker - Phil Tally

Kevin Seybold - Juan Figueroa - Andy Guzman - 
Dennis Delgado - Daniel Baker - Phil Tally

Jose Berrios

Jose Berrios

Kevin Seybold - Juan Figueroa - Andy Guzman- Daniel Baker - Phil Tally

 

 

 

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