Nine Companies Respond to Heights of Collingswood Fire
Units from Audubon, Bellmawr, Camden and Gloucester cities, Cherry Hill, Mt. Ephraim, Pennsauken and Westmont joined Squad 16 in containing the second-story fire.
Within four minutes, respondents from eight other nearby companies joined him at the scene of a second-floor apartment fire that sent one woman to the hospital Wednesday afternoon. The fire was under control before 1:30 p.m., Davis said.
The woman reportedly suffered smoke inhalation and later received treatment at Cooper University Hospital in Camden for her injuries, which authorities termed “non-life-threatening.”
Members of Collingswood Squad 16 were sent up to the second floor on a search-and-rescue with a 5-pound extinguisher, and were able to knock down some of the fire when they encountered it, Davis said.
Nonetheless, two windows in the rear of the building burst from the heat. Around 2 p.m., chatter broke of some electrical activity within the unit. Two-story ladders laid alongside the building to the open windows, and intermittent bursts of water were discernible from within.
Sandy Gentek, who has just moved in on the sixth floor of “D” Building, was entertaining friends for the first time when firefighters came knocking on her door.
“Our lunch is sitting upstairs waiting for us,” she said.
Geena Raju, who has only resided in the “D” Building of the apartment complex for nine months, was already starting to become familiar with the sound of alarms in the building.
But this time, there was smoke on the ninth floor.
“There’s been smoke in the hallway where you can’t see,” Raju said. “I’ve never seen smoke like this before.”
Raju and her border collie mix, Gypsy, were watching TV when “someone actually came knocking.”
Davis said that smoke damage would be the hardest part of the cleanup because it mushrooms up once it escapes into the hallways.
The construction of the building contained the heat effectively, limiting damage to other units uninvolved with the fire, Davis said. No one else in the apartment building was injured, although some residents on the second and third floor evacuated.
“I’m pleased with the entire operation,” he said.
"Only thing missing is locusts," Maley joked.