On Monday, March 15, 2004, the Cherry Hill Fire Department responded to a reported building fire at the 40 year landmark King of Pizza restaurant on West Route 70, near the site of the old Garden State Park Racetrack. Dispatchers reported numerous calls from the many passers-by on busy Route 70. Smoke could be seen from over two miles away as firefighters responded.
First arriving units, Tower Ladder 24 and Engine 52 reported heavy fire across the roof area and immediately began operations to set up the Tower Ladder to attack the fire. Second in units pulled 2.5 inch hand lines to Division B, to attack the fire in the area of the old kitchen and storage rooms.
Crews in that division had to first cut down the 6 foot privacy fence that bordered that side of the building, just 5 or 6 feet from the walls, and deal with a venting gas line shooting flame across the burned out and heavily damaged area.
During the operation of the master streams, the roof collapsed around a large HVAC unit on the roof. Once firefighters got the upper hand, and the gas was shutoff, additional crews moved in with several hand lines to fight the remaining, deep seated hot spots. The fire was placed under control in about 20 minutes. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Cherry Hill Fire Marshal