Firefighters spent hours trying to contain a 3-alarm blaze that damaged several Atlantic City buildings and forced nearly a dozen people from their homes.
Crews rescued several families from properties on the 1100 block of Atlantic Avenue after a sewing and alterations shop went up in flames around 10:15 p.m. Tuesday, according to officials.
After more than four hours, firefighters said they thought they brought the fire under control. But crews continued to douse flames, which reappeared in the attic area, with water at 5 a.m. Wednesday.
"Wind is blowing in worst direction for us tonight," said Atlantic City Fire Chief Dennis Brooks. "It's blowing from the burned to the sunburned."
"Had it been blowing the other way, the turnout would have been different," he continued. "We may have lost one or two places, not four or five."
Portions of the properties, which contained several store fronts on the ground-floor and apartments on the upper floors, collapsed.
At least nine people, including five young children, escaped from the burning building, according to authorities.
The American Red Cross Southern Shore Chapter assisted a family of six and a family of three, who were displaced by the fire.
There are no reported injuries.