Atlantic City firefighters battle fire, needles in early morning blaze

An Atlantic City firefighter suffered minor injuries early Sunday morning battling a fire on Belfield Avenue.
Firefighters arrived to find flames coming out of the second-story window, Fire Chief Scott Evans said.
The rowhome in between two occupied homes has been abandoned, and is a drug house, he said.
That was backed up by what the first firefighters in found.
“There were needles all over the floor to a point where it was very concerning,” Evans said.
“Proceed with caution,” the first firefighters in warned the others.
The main concern, Evans said, is as the structure fills with smoke, firefighters go to their hands and knees dragging heavy equipment. Needles can puncture their gear or get into the equipment, causing a problem.
There were no reported injuries from that, but Firefighter Ron Laielli, one of the first in, did suffer injuries believed to be smoke burns.
Firefighters hit another obstacle with the only way to the second floor being a spiral staircase, which required more manpower and causes twists that can slow the hose’s flow, Evans explained.
Firefighters were able to get the fire under control in about 40 minutes, and saved the homes on either side, although one did suffer some water damage, Evans said.
The start of the fire is under investigation.
People were apparently climbing up on a ground-floor shed to get in through a window, Evans said.
Five of the city’s eight fire companies were on scene for the fire, bringing 24 firefighters to the call, Evans said.