Fire destroys Salem County ambulance company

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Watch the report from Bob Brooks on Action News at 4 p.m. on February 19, 2018. (WPVI)

An early morning fire destroyed an ambulance company in Salem County, New Jersey on Monday.

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Fire at Woodstown Ambulance & Rescue under control. Tamala Edwards reports during Action News Mornings on February 19, 2018.


The blaze broke out around 4 a.m. at Woodstown American Legion Ambulance Association, located at Charles D. Wilson Hall on Maple Court in Woodstown.

Neighbors reported hearing explosions as firefighters called a second alarm.

Cell phone video captured how quickly the fire escalated.

Officials believe it started at one end of the building, while crews were in the lounge at the other end.

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Fire at Salem County ambulance company. Matt O'Donnell reports during Action News Mornings on February 19, 2018.



"We were resting," EMT Rebecca Roberts told Action News. "And my partner came in and was like, 'Everybody has go to get out of here!' And we were like, 'Why? Is there a call?' And we ran out, and there was smoke everywhere."

The building was full of oxygen tanks. Officials believe they created numerous explosions as they were destroyed in the fire.

The fire was finally placed under control shortly before 6 a.m.

Video from Chopper 6 recorded after sunrise showed only the outer walls of the structure still standing.

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Fire breaks out at NJ ambulance company. Matt O'Donnell reports during Action News Mornings on February 19, 2018.



The blaze appeared to have destroyed everything inside. Fortunately, no injuries were reported.

Despite what's happened all 47 employees are expected to keep working.

"It's definitely hard," said EMT Lauren Conrad. "I've been here for 7 years... and it's like home to me. It's like watching your home burn down."

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Fire breaks out at NJ ambulance company. Matt O'Donnell reports during Action News Mornings on February 19, 2018.



Ambulance company president Joe Valentine says thanks to some assistance the ambulance services are still operational.

"We've had some ambulances from Gloucester County cover us during the incident," he said. "Our neighboring town over in Elmer, they've given us one of their ambulances to use. So that's in service now for us."

The company provides EMS coverage for Woodstown Borough and Pilesgrove Township, in conjunction with Salem City and other municipalities.

It is now working with its insurance company to get the recovery process underway. The plan is to rebuild and get back to normal as soon as possible.

There was no immediate word what may have sparked the fire.

The president of the ambulance company says he thinks there could be upwards of $2 million in damage.

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Fire destroys ambulance company in Woodstown, N.J. Matt O'Donnell reports during Action News Mornings on February 19, 2018.



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