By Alecia Reid

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — Firefighters in Camden are working to get a scrapyard fire under control. Smoke from the blaze has caused evacuations in the area.

This fire has been burning for hours. Officials believe Friday’s severe weather is playing a role in firefighter’s ability to get it under control.

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The Camden Fire Department responded to the 1200 block of South 2nd Street just after 4:30 a.m. Friday morning.

Nearly eight hours later, the scrapyard fire continues to burn.

Several streets in the surrounding area have been blocked off as firefighters continue to battle the blaze.

In the meantime, a number of nearby residents have been evacuated to two schools in the area.

Fire Chief Mike Harper says the fire started from scraps in the junkyard and quickly spread, producing a tremendous amount of smoke.

He says the freezing cold temperatures are forcing the smoke to sit on the ground, making it difficult for firefighters to see.

Chief Harper tells Eyewitness News that a number of his men have had difficulty breathing. Five of them have been transported to Cooper Hospital for treatment.

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On the ground, there has been one shift change, and they’re still working to put out the blaze. 

“Because it’s so hard to extinguish, the weather today is affecting our ability to do an efficient job on it. Because the wind is blowing and breaking up some of our streams so it’s not getting a good application of water onto the fire,” said Chief Harper.

Chief Harper says the fire department has responded to a number of fires at this same scrapyard in the last six months.

Stay with for updates on this developing story.


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