Blowtorch caused fire at Ocean City hotel

OCEAN CITY, N.J. - September 28, 2012

The blaze at the Bellevue Hotel blanketed blocks of Ocean City's downtown with heavy smoke before firefighters brought it under control late Friday afternoon. No injuries were reported.

Ocean City Fire Chief Christopher Breunig tells The Press of Atlantic City that demolition crews arrived at the 104-year-old building early Friday and spent a few hours using blowtorches to cut off metal fire escapes before taking a break.

When they returned, they saw flames and tried to extinguish them, but the fire quickly spread. The structure had two connected sections - a six-story hotel built in 1908 and a four-story addition built about 1940.

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Information from: The Press of Atlantic City (N.J.)

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