Camden Fire Department
Fire, Rescue, & Safety Operations
March 6, 2012 - 440-444 Kaighn Avenue - Henry Supply

This page and the other pages in this series are the successors to the series of web-page about the Camden Fire Department that began with the page Camden Fire Department: The Fires of the Summer of 2011. On this and other pages in the series you will find pictures and information regarding different events and aspects of the fire service in Camden, New Jersey. 

At approximately 1:35 PM on March 6, 2012 a fire was reported in the abandoned building at 440-442 Kaighn Avenue, which until the mid-2000s had been the site of Henry Supply, a plumbing fixtures and supplies business which had been a fixture on Kaighn Avenue for decades. Long abandoned and used by squatters, addicts, and prostitutes, smoke and small fires had been reported at this location many times over the past few years, most reports turning out to be nothing of any consequence. This time would be different.

Battalion  reported heavy fire through the roof of the vacant building and requested the second alarm be struck. All companies were placed in service with master streams. Mutual Aid was rendered by Ladder 16 from Collingswood. Command reported water supply issues and special called two additional tower ladders and FAST company from Gloucester City. Command reported partial collapse of the roof and that there was difficulty getting water onto the fire due to the building's construction. Ladder 13-24 from Cherry Hill arrived and was placed in service in front of the building. 

With heavy fire coming through the roof, the building was soon a total loss. Crews performed defensive operations for several hours before clearing the scene. Ladder 13-24 was instrumental in pulling down the front wall of the building.

The Camden County Fire Marshal, Camden City Fire Marshal, Camden Police Department, and numerous BLS units assisted at the scene. Besides the above mentioned departments, a company from Westmont also assisted at the scene

All photos are presented in the order in which they were taken. There are so many images for this fire that I have split coverage of this fire into four parts, this being Page 1. There are links below to continue to Page 2, Page 3, and Page 4.

As with the web page covering other Camden Fire Department events, if you can identify anyone that I've missed, please e-mail me. (I'm terrible at at names and faces).. 

Phil Cohen
March 22, 2012


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Camden Courier-Post - March 8, 2012

Fire guts abandoned warehouse in Camden

Written by
Courier-Post Staff

CAMDEN — A two-alarm fire ripped through an abandoned city warehouse Tuesday afternoon.

The fire spewed flames through the collapsing roof of the long vacant Henry’s Plumbing Supplies warehouse along the 400 block of Kaighn Avenue, blocked traffic on the nearby Broadway corridor and filled surrounding neighborhoods with gray smoke.

First reported around 1 p.m., firefighters from Camden, Gloucester City, Cherry Hill and Collingswood battled the blaze for more than an hour before the thick smoke that drew pockets of onlookers began to dissipate.

No injuries were reported in the blaze, which remains under investigation, according to city fire officials.

Nearby resident Belvin Williams said the plumbing supply store had been vacant for years and has been a target for scrappers. At another abandoned building a short distance from the plumbing supply store, scrappers have cut out sections of metal gates that once blocked access to the gutted building.

Williams said a locksmith business that was once alongside the plumbing business was destroyed in a similar fire several years ago.

There used to be stores up and down here,” Williams said of the area at Kaighn and Broadway. “Now the whole row is gone.”

However, the empty lots on either side of the old Henry’s Plumbing Supplies warehouse played to the advantage of firefighters Tuesday as they were able to set up apparatus on all sides of the burning building.

Fires at abandoned homes and businesses have become a common problem for firefighters in the city.

Last summer, a string of large warehouse fires sparked fear of an arsonist and ultimately prompted federal authorities to send in a team of arson investigators.

A 12-alarm fire at the former Reliable Tire warehouse on June 9 destroyed the better part of two city blocks in the city’s Gateway section.

Nearly 60 departments from across South Jersey responded to the scene.

Within 36 hours of the first blaze, a similar fire destroyed the 130-year-old Howland Croft, Sons & Co. building on Broadway in Waterfront South.

Ten days after the first fire, the vacant Concord Chemical Plant burned. Federal agents were called to the city after the third fire and determined the fire to have been arson.

Arson has not been officially declared as the cause of the first two blazes.

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Fire, Rescue and Safety Operations - 2012