New Jersey Township Beats Blaze

They were challenged, but worked as a team.


Firefighters and baseball players sort of have the same things in common. Baseball is played day and night in hot and cold weather. Firefighters fight fires day and night in all kinds of weather but both have the same thing in common -- team work.

On June 26, local weather forecasters were predicting the start of a weekly heat wave with the temperatures in the 90's. Shortly before 3 p.m. a special event was going to take place. The Washington Township (Gloucester County NJ ) firefighters would be battling the blazing red devils. The event would be taking place on Bunker Hill Road just off of Hurffville, Cross Keys Road. The spectators were lined up on the sidewalk as the first firefighters were arriving on Engine 10-32.

They were pointing to a two-story dwelling with heavy smoke and fire showing. The firefighters knew that they would have a good battle going with the red devils. The team captain ordered his men to lead off with 1 3/4 inch attack lines.

Fire Chief John Hoffman began calling the plays. The crews of the second and third due pumpers were establishing the water supply and leading off with a double 1 3/4 inch attack lines. The team was going into action. Firefighters made their way into the side door and were greeted with a wall of fire and super heat and smoke.

A second backup line was following them in as they were knocking down the flames which were now advancing to the second floor. The attached garage was heavily involved. The red devil was now putting up a heck of a battle but the firefighters were determined to strike him out. Twenty minutes into the blaze the weary crews were exiting to the outside many with near heat exhaustion.

The backup team was waiting. Members of the Washington Township EMS Squad were there with two water mist fans working and cool, wet towels. Also arriving were members of the Deptford Township Fire Canteen Unit 9. All teams were now working together at full speed.

As the firefighters were exiting, they were met by a second team. Chief Hoffman was now keeping score with constant radio contact with his firefighters who were in the interior giving him reports of the conditions. All visible fire was now knocked down and smoke conditions were now lighting up.

The team had made the stop, and it looked like the blazing red devil had been beaten.