New Jersey

100-Plus People Displaced, Buildings Collapse as Fire Fed by Natural Gas Lines Tears Through NJ Block

What to Know

  • A stubborn fire roared through a block in Dover, New Jersey, raging for hours Monday as buildings collapsed
  • No one was hurt in the fire, which took more than 200 firefighters to contain; five buildings were totally destroyed and 100+ displaced
  • The mayor says the fire will be devastating to the downtown area of Dover, which was undergoing development

More than 100 people had to leave their homes as a raging fire fed by natural gas lines tore through a block in Dover, New Jersey, Monday, and authorities say the blaze continues to smoulder a full day later. 

The stubborn fire on Warren Street gutted one building, causing it to collapse. Three other buildings also collapsed. 

At least 16 fire departments -- 200 firefighters and 23 companies -- responded and struggled to contain the blaze, which quickly rose to seven alarms. Tanker trucks were brought in to help firefighters with the dwindling water supply. 

Stubborn Blaze Roars Through New Jersey Block

Mayor James Dodd says the fire started around 3:30 p.m. Monday in the basement of Barry's Luncheonette and then went up and on to other nearby buildings. The scene was still a smoky mess eight hours later, and Dodd said Tuesday morning there was still active fire in the basement of the buildings. 

Five in total were completely destroyed. 

The fire burned for so long because it was fed by natural gas lines, and when the gas was finally turned off, firefighters were able to get the fire under control. Hot spots persist, however, and flames are continuing to pop up. 

Dodd said no one was injured, but the fire has dealt a devastating blow to the community. 

A stubborn fire is moving through a New Jersey block, chewing up building and causing one to collapse. Lori Bordonaro reports.

"Now we have residents who are going to be displaced," said Dodd. "Our local businesses are struggling to do well. We're in the middle of developing our downtown area, it's undergoing a complete renovation so it couldn't have come at a worse time." 

At least six businesses have been destroyed, and buildings have been evacuated in the Morris County community about 30 miles west of New York City.

The people displaced by the fire were taking shelter at a nearby firehouse Monday night, comforted by some of the same first responders who were on scene earlier in the day. 

Although the fire was fed by gas lines, the exact cause as to what initially sparked the inferno has not yet been determined. 

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