Dietz & Watson fire: An enormous 11-alarm warehouse fire continues to burn today at the Dietz & Watson cold storage facility in Burlington County, N.J. Crews from 44 different fire companies are struggling to bring this massive blaze under control, reports NBC10 Philadelphia on Sept. 2.
All warehouse employees were evacuated to safety, and no injuries have been reported among the hundreds of fire personnel battling this inferno. The fire started at approximately 1 p.m. Sunday, and raged through the night and into Labor Day, causing the warehouse roof to partially collapse.
The Dietz & Watson warehouse – the size of five football fields – continues to throw off thick black plumes of smoke, worrying neighbors about toxic fumes given off by burning insulation.
The Burlington County hazmat team concluded an air quality test near the warehouse and said there was no immediate threat. That said, area residents received a reverse 911 message that warned homeowners to stay inside with their windows shut.
“Unless you’re standing right there and breathing, it's dissipating before it hits ground,” said Delanco Fire Chief Ron Holt. “That's why we called the health department and hazmat team. If they say close your window, that's their expertise, that's what I go with.”
Officials said no items stored inside the 300,000-square-foot facility have been damaged, as the fire is contained between the trusses and solar panels on the roof.
“It’s just an intense fire,” said Holt. “It’s going to take some time and we don’t know what it’s going to do. The problem we have with this fire is the whole roof has solar panels on it, so we can't get on the roof to fight it.”