It took firefighters six hours to put out the flames that began at the former Reliable Tire Co. building. With massive firefighter layoffs in Camden, most of the crews came in from outside the city. There’s a growing dispute between firefighters, who say water pressure hampered their ability to battle the blaze, and city officials downplaying the problem – despite a news release last week urging citizens not to open fire hydrants because it was causing a water shortage. The firefighters’ union also says departmental cutbacks limited the second wave of responders arriving on scene until the fire had already spread. Flames leapt right across the street in some places.
Now, some residents were left with the clothes on their backs and buckets to pick sift through the rubble for their belongings. LINK
Camden was struck by another massive building fire overnight, the second conflagration to strike the city in two days. This one went for 8 alarms. For those of you keeping score that’s 20 alarms in two days. Their beleaguered firefighters are running on empty fighting the heat and exhaustion. Since decimating their fire department with layoffs, Camden doesn’t have nearly the resources to maintain adequate fire suppression throughout the city. The crews working this week are spent but there is no one to replace them. So they soldier on as firefighters do. Unfortunately as we have seen in the firefighting business you don’t do MORE with LESS. You do less with less. A whole lot less…
When you think of Camden New Jersey what comes to mind? (besides Detroit). How about crime, corruption, urban decay, waste, mismanagement, fraud, abuse, hopelessness, despair and incompetence? It’s shocking if you think of it. With those traits first and foremost coming to mind what does that bode for Camden’s future? ZERO that’s what.
As a city Camden is finished. No one in their right mind with means would move there. No business will set up shop there. There is effectively no tax base left. The municipal government can’t pay its bills or deliver essential services. It is a stark example of modern-day democrat socialism as practiced in many other American big cities. Camden is now a reservation of poor, drug addled, government dependent people who have no future. It’s not a whole lot different from the desolate portrayal of post apocalyptic New York City in the classic “Escape From New York“
As the fires burn through this once thriving city I can only look across the Delaware river to look at my own cities future. Philadelphia is only a generation at best away from being past the point of no return. Uncontrolled fires in your cities are a notable sign of failure. What’s it going to take for us to take a stand?
For an eye-opening analysis of Philadelphia’s situation read Chris Friends column here.