Shortly before 8 PM on June 15, 2004, Camden, New Jersey firefighters were dispatched to an apartment complex in the East Camden section of the city during a thunder and lightning storm.
Upon arrival, Engine 9's Captain, Larry Buckingham, found that they had a very large gas leak coming from the rear of the apartment building. Captain Buckingham asked that the box be filled out and he and his members began evacuation of the apartment complex. As other firefighters were arriving, they began evacuating the nearby apartment units. As the last apartment was evacuated, there was a huge explosion blowing out the front and rear walls. Flames quickly engulfed the entire block long apartment building.
Luckily no one was killed or seriously injured. Car 3, Deputy Chief, was now arriving and quickly sounded the second and third alarms. The fourth alarm quickly followed. This stubborn blaze took over 45 minutes to be brought under control.
During this 4-alarm fire, Camden firefighters were busy battling three other all hands fires in the City. One was in a super market in the South Camden section of the City, which was quickly brought Under Control. The other was on the 5th floor of a County Office Building next to Camden City Hall.
At the height of the 4-alarm apartment blaze, firefighters were dispatched to a row home fire in the South Camden section of the city. It was a stubborn 2nd floor fire which heavily damaged the home.
Camden firefighters were assisted by many Camden County Fire units in battling these many blazes.