8 New Jersey Stores, Church to Be Demolished After 4-Alarm Blaze

Eight stores were engulfed in flames as a four-alarm blaze raged at a building in northeast New Jersey Thursday morning, firefighters say.

All the stores were closed when fire broke out at the building on South Broad Street in Elizabeth at about 5:30 a.m., Fire Chief Thomas McNamara says.

The fire grew quickly, bursting through the building’s roof and causing it to partially collapse, McNamara said. Heavy flames and a thick plume of smoke could be seen rising from the building as crews worked to douse the flames.

Firefighters had the fire under control in about an hour and a half, but structures on either side of the building were evacuated and a demolition crew was sent to tear down all the stores on the strip, as well as a nearby church. Authorities hope to have a better idea about what caused the fire once the buildings are razed. 

No one was injured in the blaze, though McNamara said some firefighters slipped and fell as water from their houses quickly turned to ice on the streets.

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