Fire Department: Dietz And Watson Fire Fully Contained

Fire Department: Dietz And Watson Fire Fully Contained

Posted: Updated:
DELANCO, N.J. -

Thick black smoke that billowed from the roof of the Dietz and Watson distribution center in Delanco finally was contained, nearly 24 hours after the 11-alarm fire erupted on the roof, Sunday afternoon.

Numerous fire departments from as far away as the Jersey Shore remained on the scene on Monday to help Burlington County crews battle the stubborn flames and smoke that kept popping up on a roof filled with solar panels.

Those panels were one of the biggest concerns.

"They keep their energy even after they are disconnected…you can't touch those solar panels, they're electrified. So putting people on the roof (with solar panels) wasn't safe for manpower," said Deputy Chief Robert Hubler.

Another challenge is water. Crews had to run a line nearly a mile long, pumping it in from the Rancocas Creek. New Jersey American Water also brought water from it's Delran plant and activated a well. There's another well in the works right now..

Residents in nearby communities have been told to conserve water too.

More than 200 firefighters from nearly 40 stations were on the job at the peak of the fire, with smoke that could be seen 20 miles away.

Dietz and Watson built this distribution center for their meat and cheese products six years ago. They deliver to thousands of stores from this location.

Company officials say that the building is a total loss, but they vow to press on.

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