ATLANTIC CITY, NJ. (CBS) — Crews battled a massive fire in Atlantic City overnight that damaged several buildings and displaced more than a dozen people just steps from the boardwalk and casinos.
The three-alarm fire broke out around 10 p.m. Tuesday in an alteration shop along the 1100 block of Atlantic Avenue, between Pennsylvania and North Carolina Avenues, about a block from the boardwalk.READ MORE: Man Killed In Road Rage Shooting In Springfield Identified, Authorities Say
Fire officials say the flames quickly spread to four multi-unit buildings, many of them first-floor storefronts with apartments above, causing two of them to partially collapse.
“We’ve had two partial collapses in 1114 (Atlantic Avenue) and 1116,” said Atlantic City Fire Chief Dennis Brooks, “and in the rear of 1118 is collapsed.”
Heavy winds hampered firefighters’ efforts to contain the fire.
“Wind has been a factor all night,” said Brooks. “The fire got up into the second floor and up to the roof area, and it’s around the roof. It’s going in the direction of the wind. That’s our issue tonight.”
The fire was eventually placed under control about nine hours later, but crews remained on the scene early Wednesday morning, dousing hotspots.
Seventeen people were displaced by the fire, including six children. Those families were being assisted by the American Red Cross.READ MORE: Here's How To Help Your Pet Stay Calm, Safe During Fourth Of July Fireworks
“They don’t have place to go so the church is trying to help them out. Most of them are church members,” said Gloria Lee from the Yang Ji Presbyterian Church.
Volunteers from the church helped the displaced families load clothing and other items from their homes and businesses.
Atlantic City Licensing and Inspection director Dale Finch says all four damaged structures need to be demolished.
There was no report of any injuries.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
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