3 condos destroyed in Brigantine fire

Fire in Brigantine, New Jersey, has ripped through an apartment building.

March 16, 2012 3:16:13 PM PDT
A fast moving fire destroyed three condominiums and damaged three others in Brigantine, New Jersey.

The fire broke out just before 4:00 a.m. Friday in a condo building located along the 900 block of East Brigantine Avenue and was driven by a stiff northeast wind.

"It pushes the fire from one unit to the next. We attempted an initial attack on the first unit. We pulled back very quickly out of that," said Capt. Alan Weidner of the Brigantine Fire Department.

All of the residents who were home at the time got out safely. It took firefighters more than two hours to bring the blaze under control.

"This easily could have been this entire building from one wall to the other," said Chief Jim Holl.

The row of condos is located directly across from the beach. Officials say the fire began in a second story bedroom in the end unit. The flames devoured the contents of Michele Jones' home.

"It's destroyed, there's nothing left. It's completely destroyed. We have nothing. We lost everything," she said. Michele went on to say she and her husband were away for the night, staying with friends, when she got a call from a neighbor telling her the house was on fire.

She turned the TV to Action News and watched live pictures of her home going up in flames. Fortunately all was not lost - Lt. Joe Lavigna was able to recover two precious items from her burned-out home.

"My brother died 2 years ago and I have a little locket with his ashes in it and his teddy bear. They are the only things that came out of that house," said Michele.

"Nothing else we could really save here, but at least that little bit can help," said Lt. Lavigna.

The cause is unknown but it is not considered suspicious. Investigators are checking into reports of a power surge in the area moments before the flames erupted.

The Red Cross is relocating at least 4 people displaced in the fire.