After more than 19 hours, firefighters from at least 44 different companies haven’t been able to bring a massive 11-alarm food warehouse fire under control in South Jersey.
The Dietz & Watson fire broke out in Delanco, New Jersey Sunday afternoon, and firefighters were forced to battle back the flames well into the night — but the inferno remained uncontainable.
Ultimately, more than 200 firefighters responded to the Dietz & Watson fire in Burlington County, a blaze which began for reasons still undetermined on the facility’s roof.
Despite the massive reach and difficulty containing the flames, no one was injured at the plant in the incident. As firefighters fought the huge fire, Delanco Fire Chief Ron Holt explained that the situation was fluid:
“It’s just an intense fire… It’s going to take some time, and we don’t know what it’s going to do… With all that power and energy [in the roof’s solar panels], I can’t jeopardize a guy’s life for that.”
Holt said despite the safety concerns, the Dietz & Watson fire didn’t pose a health threat to the neighboring area, adding:
“Unless you’re standing right there and breathing, it’s dissipating before it hits ground… That’s why we called the health department and hazmat team… that’s their expertise, that’s what I go with.”
Dietz & Watson issued a statement about the fire on its website, saying to customers:
“Dietz & Watson suffered a setback to its Delanco Distribution center over the Labor Day Weekend. Other distribution centers, as well as all production facilities, were unaffected by this event. At this time, we are assessing the immediate needs of our customers; business remains as usual. The Dietz & Watson Family appreciates all of the support it has received during this time, and is thankful that no one sustained any injury. Further, the company appreciates the efforts of all emergency services.”
While a cause for the Dietz & Watson fire remains under investigation, two injuries were reported — including Chief Holt, who sustained a broken foot battling the blaze.