More than 100 firefighters battle 3-alarm fire in Mt. Holly

MT. HOLLY, N.J. (WPVI) -- More than 100 firefighters from across Burlington County battled water supply problems and the bitter cold while fighting a 3-alarm fire in Mt. Holly.

It happened early Thursday morning at a century-old manufacturing building on Holeman Street.

"There were wood floors that were soaked in years and years of oil through being a machine shop and that just made the fire burn that much quicker, that much hotter and made it harder to put out," said Dep. Chief Kevin Gimeno, Mt. Holly Fire Department.

"I just put my shoes on, got my coat and ran out the door," said Stella Harris.

Harris was evacuated along with several other homeless people being sheltered at the Christian Community Center across the street.

"It was just horrible - the flames. I was terrified because I was walking through the backyard and all I heard was 'boom'" said Harris.

The flames were intense. The fire was so high and so hot that it jumped across the street, melting the front of at least three buildings here - two of them started to catch fire.

"I was so afraid because when I got outside from the debris, there was pieces of fire in the air," said Anthony Nah.

Fortunately no injuries were reported.

Firefighters doused hotspots throughout the day and heavy equipment was brought in to demolish what's left of the building, now owned by a company called 280 Holeman LLC.

The blaze knocked out power to several buildings in the area and the community center is scrambling to find other accommodations for its clients.

"We have a soup kitchen here. We were supposed to feed today, tomorrow and Saturday and Sunday so we are trying to feed people and find places for the homeless people to go," said Rev. Selwyn Davis, Christian Community Center.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
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