Fire-Ravaged Dietz & Watson Warehouse Still Smoldering

By Kelly Bayliss, Danielle Johnson and Dan Stamm
|  Monday, Sep 9, 2013  |  Updated 5:49 AM EDT
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Delanco Fire Chief Ron Holt said that firefighters continue to keep an eye on flare ups at the Dietz & Watson warehouse that burned down last week.

NBC10 - Tracy Davidson

Delanco Fire Chief Ron Holt said that firefighters continue to keep an eye on flare ups at the Dietz & Watson warehouse that burned down last week.

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More than a week after a massive fire burned down a South Jersey food warehouse, firefighters continued to battle flames coming from the rubble.

Firefighters returned to the scene Sunday morning to hose down parts of the smoldering structure at the Dietz & Watson cold storage facility on Cooperstown Road in Delanco, Burlington County, N.J., according to county dispatchers.

Firefighters on the scene tell NBC10 that 4- to 5-foot flames and smoke coming from the rubble was normal. They were letting the fire entirely burn itself out while hosing down hot spots. The major concern going forward is keeping down any possible embers.

“We have about five or six hot spots, a lot of them are underneath the collapsed roof that we can’t get to,” said Delanco Fire Chief Ron Holt.

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Holt says that besides him and other firefighters, security guards at the facility are keeping an eye out for any flare ups.

The news of the smoldering blaze comes two days after some rubbish at the site caught fire on Friday.

Both of these incidents paled in comparison to the original blaze.

Last Sunday's fire caused the roof, lined with thousands of solar panels, to collapse within hours. Thick, black smoke could be seen billowing from the facility miles away.

More than 200 firefighters from Burlington, Mercer, Gloucester, Camden and Atlantic Counties were brought to the distribution center, which is about 300,000 square feet -- roughly the size of five football fields.

By Monday morning, the blaze continued to burn as water issues, the threat of electrocution and other factors hindered firefighting efforts. While fire officials were finally able to contain the blaze early Monday evening, they also said it would likely continue to smolder for days. A week later some smoldering remained.

 


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