Fire strikes Cherry Hill strip mall

January 4, 2008 7:38:35 PM PST
Cherry Hill fire crews battled a multi-alarm fire at a strip mall this afternoon.

The fire began shortly after 2:00 p.m. at Short Hills Strip Mall located along the 400 hundred block of East Evesham Road.

Callers reported seeing fire towards the rear of the Short Hills Deli. Firefighters arrived and encountered a heavy smoke from the deli.

Cherry Hill police were evacuating the area when firefighters arrived on the scene.

As some firefighters assisted with the evacuation, others began attacking the fire inside the deli.

Because of the thick smoke, and reports of fire above them, firefighters moved outside the burning buildings to try to control the fast moving fire. Three alarms were sounded.

Firefighters believe a steady 10 - 14 mph wind out of the southwest enabled the fire to move as fast as it did, and credit a firewall to the east of the fire building with helping them in keeping the fire from heavily damaging other businesses.

There was heavy damage to the deli, and smoke and water damage to the adjacent businesses. The fire was placed under control in just over an hour.

Many of the businesses closed by the fire plan to open again on Saturday.

No injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.