The blaze broke out at a business, possibly a Chinese restaurant, on South Broad Street near Summer Street around 5:30 a.m. and quickly grew to five alarms, spreading to an entire row of stores that were completely engulfed.
Half of the block was on fire, with flames shooting through the roofs of the one-story buildings. Fire officials said the main fire was contained to the building of origin, which suffered a collapse. No firefighters were inside at the time.
In addition to the flames, firefighters also battled cold weather and freezing conditions.
The fire affected traffic, as it was located near Routes 1&9 just north of the Bayway Circle. It is a heavily traveled roadway, particularly those heading to or from Newark Airport.
So far, there are no reports of any injuries and the flames had not spread to nearby residential buildings. Some residents were evacuated as a precaution.