Firefighters investigate 5-alarm fire that gutted South Amboy C-Town

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Lucy Yang reports from South Amboy. (WABC)

Investigators are trying to determine what sparked the second fire at a central New Jersey supermarket this year.

It took firefighters about three hours to get control of Monday's blaze at the C-Town Supermarket in South Amboy.

The store was scheduled to reopen next week following repairs to damage caused by a fire in January. That blaze was contained to the attic and roof and appeared to have been caused by an accidental electrical short.

"My understanding is somebody may have been doing some work on the roof I'm not sure," said Fred Henry, mayor of South Amboy.

The fire broke out after 4 p.m. Monday at the C-Town Supermarket on Bordentown Avenue.

Flames burst through the roof, the windows, and up and down the aisles. For five hours, firefighters fought with multiple hoses as a report of smoke Monday afternoon quickly and aggressively turned into a five-alarm blaze.

"We initially tried to attack through the front door, but immediately went into defensive operations," said Chief Michael Geraltowski, of the South Amboy Fire Department.

Eyewitness News was on the scene in November 2012 when it was a Foodtown store. It had been a family-run grocery store for 84 years.
Then Superstorm Sandy struck. There was no power for 11 days, and $100,000 worth of food went bad. The store closed, and C-Town took over.

In January, there was a fire that was ruled an accident and shut down the store for months.

"I have a long history with this building," said Jack Roberts, a customer who has shopped there for 70 years. He remembers as a child picking up groceries for his elderly neighbors for a 5 cent tip.

"I hate to see it go. I watch for two hours as they poured water on it. Nothing will be left," Roberts said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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