UPDATE: Newsworks (http://bit.ly/15yTnE6) reports that fFire officials aren’t sure what caused the fire, but by midday it was pretty much under control.
Still, columns of black smoke billowed from the massive distribution center Monday afternoon, with flames visible from within the severely damaged facility.
“We’re going to probably have this for a day or two,” Delanco deputy fire chief Bob Hubler told reporters. “We’re doing our best to get into it from the exterior, but we’re having a hard time reaching the center of the fire. That’s been our problem the whole time: the center of this building has been burning.”
Original Story: After more than 16 hours, firefighters from 44 different companies haven’t been able to bring a massive 11-alarm food warehouse fire under control in South Jersey, reports NBC Philadelphia.
The fire broke out at the Dietz & Watson cold storage facility in Delanco, Burlington County (NJ) around 1:30 p.m. Sunday and caused the roof to collapse within hours. Thick, black smoke could be seen billowing from the roof of the facility from miles away.
By the next morning the fire continued to burn as water issues, the threat of electrocution and other factors hindered firefighting efforts. Crews are expected to arrive around 7:30 a.m. Monday with machinery that will be used to finally put an end to the fire.
Fire officials say that as of early Monday the fire was 50 percent contained. Crews from around the area were shuttling water in to fight the fire.
The Burlington County hazmat team was called to the scene to test the air quality and concluded that there is no hazard at this time. However, residents received an emergency notification message from the Beverly and Edgewater Park Joint Office of Emergency Management which warned them to stay inside their homes, close their windows and avoid breathing in the smoke.
More than 200 firefighters from across the region worked to get the fire completely under control. Camden Fire Boat crew also responded to the scene to help create a stretch of a pipeline for water to flow from the Rancocas Creek.
Firefighters had to pull back because fully-charged solar panels posed the risk of electrocution.
Officials say the fire was contained between the trusses and solar panels on the roof. There have been two explosions so far and at least one wall has collapsed.
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