The Pennsauken Fire Department was dispatched to South Route 130 for a building fire on the U.S. Auto Auction property. The business was closed for the night as were three other automotive businesses housed in the block-long structure. Pennsauken Chief Joe Palumbo arrived to find fire through the roof in the north section of the building and placed all companies in-service with their heaviest water lines and struck the second alarm. The blaze was driven by a strong nor’easter that blew in off the ocean on Tuesday. High winds fanned the flames which dropped embers throughout adjacent neighborhoods. Chief Palumbo had to assign several companies to patrol residential neighborhoods for ember patrol. Within several minutes after the companies arrived the fire had overtaken most of the building causing the roof to collapse. There were numerous vehicles stored in the auto auction along with tires, gasoline tanks, and similar fuels. It took all night for firefighters to extinguish the large body of fire which was buried under roofing material that that had collapsed inward. Many exterior walls then collapsed making it harder for the members to fight the blaze. Third and fourth alarms were struck bringing over a dozen area fire companies from Camden and Burlington counties to the fire. The cause of the fire was under investigation and there were no injuries reported to firefighters or civilians.
– Fire News photos by John Axford and Ted Aurig