Local/State

Arson fire hits 6 Camden homes

Friday, August 20, 2010
Firefighters battle a blaze that damaged 6 homes in Camden overnight.

An Action News viewer captured the flames even as fire trucks arrived on the scene in the 12 hundred block of Sycamore Street at about 1:00 a.m. Friday.

The blaze gutted or badly damaged 6 houses, 4 of which were abandoned. However, two were occupied.

The seventeen members that make up the two families of those homes are getting help from the American Red Cross.

"We went to sleep," Julius Reed told Action News. "The next thing I know, I hear banging on my door. It was the police telling me to get the kids and everybody out of the house. I got everybody out of the house. The next thing you know, the whole house was going up in flames."

"I saw fire going through our house," said Maurice Scott. "I was scared."

Julius Reed, his wife, and nine children got out, but pretty much lost everything.

He's angry that the fire started in the next door house that's supposed to be vacant.

Fire officials say abandoned homes are a major problem in Camden and that people getting inside them is an even bigger concern.

About two weeks ago, the same house at 1258 Sycamore had a fire.

The fire marshal has declared this is a case of arson.

In fact, there've been at least three fires in the last year and a half. This time there was more damage and this time it affected occupied homes.

One firefighter suffered heat exhaustion battling the blaze. He was treated and released.

There were no other injuries, but neighbors worry that one of these times the results will be deadly.

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Tags:
arson, new jersey, camden, fire, red cross, local/state
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