Shortly after 3:30 p.m. on February 1, 2003, Deptford Township, New Jersey firefighters along with Wenonah Borough firefighters were dispatched to a dwelling fire on Howard Avenue in the Pine Acres section of Deptford Township.
As firefighters left their stations, a huge column of smoke was seen in the sky. The first arriving pumper 911 from the Oak Valley Station laid a 5 inch line from an hydrant on Howard Avenue and preceded to the front of the dwelling. Wenonah's pumper 13-12 took the hydrant to supply the first due pumper.
Firefighters found heavy smoke and visible fire showing from a two story frame dwelling. Two 1 3/4 inch lines were stretched to the side door to try to make an interior attack and search for the occupants.
Firefighters from Wenonah and Deptford went to the roof to ventilate the now heavily charged dwelling. Firefighters were able to make entry to the rear part of the dwelling, beating back smoke and flames while making an interior search. The search turned out negative. The roof was now vented making it a little easier for firefighters working inside but the fire had a firm grip forcing the members to back out numerous times.
A Special Call was placed to Greenfield Fire Company of West Deptford Township for their Squirt 666 to assist in the firefighting. The fire was now through the roof and numerous hand lines were now in use. The fire burned for almost one hour before being placed Under Control.
Firefighters made a gallant effort in attacking this fire but the flames were always one step ahead of them.
They remained on the scene throughout the night overhauling and putting out hot spots. The fire is being investigated by the Deptford Township Fire Marshal's Office.