Demolition Begins at Site of Devastating Jersey Shore Fire

Demolition crews moved Saturday into the site of a massive fire that injured six firefighters and consumed three commercial buildings on the Jersey Shore.

The blaze broke out at a building on West Front Street in downtown Keyport about 3:30 p.m. Friday, and quickly spread to two nearby buildings, according to authorities. One building collapsed as firefighters struggled to contain the fire.

"It came on so quick, it took the whole building," said witness Bob Deronde.

Dozens of fire trucks and ladder units from several municipalities battled flames shooting through the roof and ripping through the structure. Thick smoke billowed from the building, blanketing nearby streets, video shows.

Videos provided to NBC 4 New York by witnesses show part of the fire-gutted building collapse. Radio transmissions between emergency responders reveal concern over firefighters possibly injured in the blaze.

"Urgent, we have guys down, urgent, Mayday," one firefighter is heard saying.

"Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!" the recording continues.

Two of the firefighters who were inside the building when it collapsed were hurt, and and four other firefighters were injured battling the blaze, which destroyed five businesses and several apartments, the Monmouth County prosecutor's office said. None of the injuries was life-threatening; most were from smoke inhalation.

It's not clear what sparked the fire, but some blamed roof repairs that were being made with hot tar.

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