A fast-moving fire ripped through a North Camden neighborhood early Thursday, heavily damaging six houses and injuring several people, including a firefighter and a police officer, authorities said.
The two-alarm fire broke out around 3 a.m. in the 900 block of Cedar Avenue, authorities said. Flames were pouring from two houses when firefighters arrived. The cause is under investigation.
“It was just spreading to every home,” said Ed Hutchinson, 22, who rushed to the scene from his home in South Camden after hearing an alert on his emergency scanner. He arrived as the first fire engine was hooking up to a hydrant.
In a daring rescue before firefighters arrived, a father saved his infant daughter from their burning home by passing the baby through a window to a neighbor, said city spokesperson Vince Basara. The neighbor was stunned to hear knocking on her window.
“He said, ‘Here, grab the baby.’ On top of the porch, he handed the baby to my sister. My sister was in shock,” Margarita Alonso told 6ABC.
After the father fled his burning home, he discovered that his 3-year-old child was still inside, Alonso said. He rushed back inside and rescued the toddler, she said. The man’s dog died in the fire, authorities said.
A Camden County police officer was treated for smoke inhalation at Cooper University Hospital and released, said spokesman Dan Keashen. A firefighter was also injured, along with several residents, Basara said. None of the injuries were serious, he said.
Basara said the fire spread to at least six houses. At least four were deemed uninhabitable and city crews were boarding those homes Thursday, he said.
About five families, including 19 people, were displaced by the fire, Basara said. The Red Cross is assisting and providing temporary housing, he said.