3-alarm fire burned a building under construction in Cliffside Park, New Jersey

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Jim Dolan reports from Cliffside. (WABC)

Firefighters battled a three-alarm fire in Cliffside Park Tuesday evening.

The fire broke out at about 5:30 p.m. at a building that was under construction at Walker Street and Cliff Lane.

Dozens of firefighters from several cities were on the scene.

"Everything was normal, I just hear boom!" said Michael Lopez, an eyewitness.

Firefighters went into the locked buildings to make sure no one was inside. They went door to door in apartment buildings. Those who left their homes and were out on the street posted video on YouTube as the fire spread.

"I heard two loud explosions. I heard boom, the first one, but then the second one was way louder and I don't know the whole building shook," said Susanna Alameda, another eyewitness.

The water dumped on the fire froze in the frigid temperatures, and salt was brought in to give firefighters some footing.

"Embers jumped from that fire to this fire and now there's a second one and now who knows what could happen here," said Mike Jameson, an eyewitness.

For blocks around the fire, thick smoke obscured just about everything, a gas station two blocks away was closed because the wind was blowing the embers toward the pumps.

"Pretty intense flames, the whole roof was up in flames all across. I don't know if it got to the building next door but it was pretty intense," a resident said.

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