Sayreville Main Street strip mall businesses badly damaged in fire

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Toni Yates reports on the fire that affected nearly a dozen businesses in the town of Sayreville. (WABC)

A three-alarm fire destroyed businesses in a strip mall in Sayreville Thursday morning.

The fire broke out just after 5:30 a.m., and flames could be seen immediately shooting out the roof. It burned through at least three stores in the Main Street Mall.

Firefighters had trouble early on fighting the flames because of very poor water pressure.

"We kept actually losing water pressure with the one hydrant," Sayreville Fire Chief Vincent Waranowicz said. "We were using two, which hampered the efforts."

It took them 45 minutes to connect and draw water from a second main, and that was enough time for the fire to wipe out a handful of businesses.

Once the flames got bigger, they quickly spread through the roof. Clinton Spencer had been on his way to the Quik Check, and saw it happening.

"The wind was blowing, the blaze was so high in the air..and it moved fast," he said.

Firefighters had to pull a large part of the building's facade down in front of the pizza shop, just so it didn't fall on them while they battled the blaze.

The pizza shop and liquor store were a total loss, while other businesses sustained smoke or water damage.

Dana Fischer owns a salon in the strip mall.

"My girlfriend called me at 6:30 in the morning, and she said 'get up, get up,'" she said. "She said the salon is on fire."

Fischer said she could see the smoke from miles away.

The business owners are on the scene assessing damage and planning their next move, and the property owner has arranged for contractors to respond and board up what needs to be secured and to start those repairs that can be done immediately.

Main Street remains closed between White Oaks Drive and the Main Street Extension, according to the Sayreville Fire Department.

Washington Road traffic was heavier due to the road closure, and officials were urging drivers to stay away.

No injuries have been reported.

The cause is under investigation.

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