Shortly after 2 p.m. on Jan. 12, a Camden County firefighter driving over the Ben Franklin Bridge from Philadelphia to Camden saw a huge column of smoke go up near Route 676 and Atlantic Avenue in the South Camden section of the city.
He called Camden County Fire Dispatch and they dispatched Engine Co. 8 and Battalion 1 for a smoke investigation in that area.
As they were traveling down Atlantic Avenue on to South 6th Street, Battalion Chief 1 reported that he had a large three story high pile of shredded metal, 150 x 200 on fire and he requested that the Box be filled out.
Engine Co. 8 Captain Baker led off with a two-and-a-half-inch attack line. Squad Company 7 was now arriving with Captain Everett who laid a Supply Line to Engine Co. 8. Tower Ladder No. 3 was now arriving with Captain Goobic and he immediately went into Service with their Tower Ladder.
The fire was located at the Camden Iron and Metal Junk yard. The workers at the junk yard were using their own fire hoses and an overhead sprinkler system helping to quill the fire.
Chief Harper gave a ten minute Progress Report that he had numerous hand lines working a one Tower Ladder and was making good progress. Some twenty minutes later the fire was placed under control.
The firefighters remained on the scene for over hauling. It was a very spectacular fire for the first fifteen minutes sending up a huge column of black smoke that could be scene for miles throughout the Camden County area.