Strong Winds Rip Roof Part From New Jersey Bed, Bath & Beyond, Force Strip Mall Evacuation

Friday, Mar 14, 2014  |  Updated 10:27 AM EDT
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Wind Rips Roof Part From NJ Bed, Bath & Beyond, Forces Evacuation

High winds ripped off part of the roof at a Bed, Bath & Beyond in a New Jersey strip mall Thursday morning, causing an evacuation and the shuttering of several stores, authorities say.

Debris from the roof hit a small gas line that runs through several stores in the mall on International Drive in Flanders, sparking a small fire, police said. 

The fire was doused quickly and no one was hurt. The mall area was evacuated as a precaution.

Utility crews shut off the gas main and several stores, including the home furnishing store, were closed while authorities investigated. It wasn't clear when they would reopen. 

A fire official said the part of the roof that flew off was like a sealant, and the roof itself did not sustain any structural damage. 

A wind advisory is in effect for Flanders, along with Morris County and much of the tri-state area, as the National Weather Service predicts gusts may reach 45 mph. 

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