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Firefighters battle brush fire in Salem County

Watch report from Action News
April 13, 2014 8:56:54 PM PDT
Several firefighters suffered heat exhaustion as they battled a brush fire in New Jersey Sunday.

The flames also destroyed two emergency vehicles near Grieves Parkway and South Front Street in Salem City.

Officials say more than 20 acres of wetlands have been burned.

Experts say the tall thin grass called Phragmites can burn ferociously.

"It spread across the Phragmites toward an apartment complex on Oak Street," said John Turner, Salem County Fire Marshal. "The fire consumed approximately 20 to 25 acres unofficially."

Wind carried embers that ignited stacked firewood in a neighboring yard. Firefights had to douse the flames multiple times.

"This is the third time today," said Winfield Divon Conaway.

The steadily moving main blaze destroyed two fire trucks called Brush Trucks; the first got stuck in the mud.

"The second brush truck went in to pull out the first brush truck but also got stuck as the fire was progressing. They had to evacuate; bottom line we lost two brush trucks out of Salem County," said Turner.

An unofficial estimate to replace those two trucks about $200,000.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation


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