Police continue investigation after 14 Camden fires, 7 injured

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Officials in Camden continue to investigate a series of suspicious fires. (WPVI)

Officials in Camden continue to investigate a series of suspicious fires.

Since Saturday, there have been 14 fires, most in vacant homes within a one mile radius.

Action News learned on Tuesday that Camden County police are now considering this an arson investigation. They're hoping the community will help them catch the person or persons behind it all.

The latest fire happened around 1 p.m. Monday along Mount Ephraim Avenue. Authorities say firefighters were able to narrowly rescue a man trapped on the balcony.

It's all getting dangerously close to home for auto shop owner Wilson Martinez.

"It makes me nervous. I own this business here for 11 years," Martinez said.

Misha Payton's cousin is a business owner. His work vans, used to transport residents to work, are a complete loss after a fire in a Camden alley over the weekend.

"All he does is help people. I'm waiting for a job from him now and look, how am I going to get to work?" Payton said.

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Police are investigating a series of fires in Camden.

Seven firefighters have been injured, most from heat exhaustion and some from carbon monoxide poisoning.

"The fear is that somebody could get injured or killed. We had seven of our firefighters injured which is a significant amount of fire firefighter injuries for a two day period," Camden Fire Chief Michael Harper said.

A multi-agency task force has been assembled to capture the person or people responsible.

An ongoing investigation seems to point to a brazen arsonist who commits the act in broad daylight.

"The community is our strongest advocate in bringing forth who's responsible and holding this person accountable for lighting these fires," Camden County Fire Captain Gregg Carlin said.

But for longtime residents and business owners who are invested in the community, it goes beyond just finding a culprit.

"When they start doing stuff like this it seems like they don't even want Camden to change and that makes no sense," Payton said.

Anyone with information should contact police.
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