Wind-Fueled Inferno Devours Nearly Half-Dozen Buildings on NJ Block, Displaces Dozens

Nearly three dozen people were displaced by the blaze

What to Know

  • The blaze broke out in a building at the corner of Ninth Avenue and South 14 Street in Newark around 3:30 a.m., but spread rapidly
  • Video from the scene shows the inferno raging on the block and cars going up in flames
  • Nearly three dozen people were displaced by the blaze, authorities said

A wind-fueled fire in New Jersey's largest city tore through a vacant building early Friday then spread to four other structures, sending dramatic flames leaping across icicle-clad power lines and displacing nearly three dozen people in the frigid, pre-dawn hours, authorities say. 

The blaze broke out in a building at the corner of Ninth Avenue and South 14 Street in Newark around 3:30 a.m., but spread rapidly. Hours later, it was still burning. Hundreds of firefighters from multiple towns responded.

Dramatic images from the scene shows the inferno raging on the block and cars going up in flames. The fire also caused some local power outages; as of 8:30 a.m. PSEG's outage map showed nearly 1,000 customers without power in the general area. 

Firefighters said they initially couldn’t make entry into the building where the fire started, and it quickly got out of control. 

One witness said the heat from the fire was so intense she could feel it from a block away. Firefighters were seen crouching on the icy snow as they battled the flames; one was hurt after slipping on ice, but the injury is considered minor. 

It wasn't the only fire in Newark early Friday; another one burned on Milford Avenue. No injuries were immediately reported in that case, but the Red Cross said it was assisting four families.

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