Wind-swept NJ blaze destroys several homes

Image taken Satuday morning at Pilgrim Pathway in Ocean Grove. (Viewer, Victorious Nazien)

March 13, 2010 3:45:08 PM PST
Several homes were destroyed and other buildings seriously damaged by a wind-swept fire that tore through a central New Jersey community Saturday. Two emergency responders - a firefighter and a first aid squad member - sustained minor injuries in the Ocean Grove blaze.

It was not immediately clear what sparked the fire, which was reported just before 5 a.m. and burned for several hours. Officials say it apparently started in one of the homes and quickly spread.

Several local fire departments fought the blaze, but their efforts were hampered by strong winds and heavy rains.

At least four homes were destroyed, while another residence and a nearby historic inn were damaged. Some homes were vacant at the time, while residents in the other buildings were safely evacuated.