By Leigh Anne Hubbs
Gloucester City News
Mount Ephraim Commissioner Andrew Gilmore said that on November 30 some 23 firefighters responded to a house fire on James Street, which has been subsequently boarded up.
Although the house was vacant, it was a hoarding situation which created additional challenges in containing the fire, Gilmore said during the December Board of Commissioners meeting.
One firefighter sustained a non-serious injury.
Several James Street residents voiced concern that the property may now become a drug house, given that they have seen unsavory characters in and around the property in the past.
Also, they said the property is now an attractive nuisance to children who may be curious and want to explore the property.
Fire Department Chief Brian Gilmore told the residents that the building inspector deemed the structure “unsafe.” No one, including the owner may enter the premises.
Police Chief Edward Dobelman instructed the residents to call 911 if they see anyone on the property.
In other business, Douglass S. Zee III was sworn in by Commissioner Gilmore as a Special Officer, Class II effective December 1.
Last month single stream recycling reached more than 100,000 pounds, as reported by Commissioner Bruce Greenwald.
Higher levels of recycling participation mean less trash tonnage, which saves the Borough money.
Gilmore said that in November the Police Department responded to 447 calls and made a total of 35 adult arrests and three juvenile arrests.
Some of the adult arrests included five for shoplifting, four for possession of CDS and four for criminal mischief. Of the juvenile arrests, two were for shoplifting and one was for disorderly conduct.
With the holiday season here, Gilmore offered some safety tips such as “be aware of your surroundings and keep all doors and windows locked. Additionally keep your Christmas tree watered and do not overload outlets as to reduce the risk of fire.”
Mayor Joseph Wolk said the James Street fire is another example of the level of commitment of the all-volunteer Fire Department, and that in November firefighters responded to 16 calls for mutual aid and nine motor vehicle accidents.
Saturday, December 10, is the Annual Fireman’s Christmas Parade, which will begin on Kings Highway and then down Davis Avenue to the Firehouse.
Mayor Wolk and Commissioners Gilmore and Greenwald wished everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
The next meeting will be Thursday, January 5, at 8 p.m. in Borough Hall.