BRIGANTINE, New Jersey (WPVI) -- A fire caused heavy damage to a townhome complex in Brigantine, Atlantic County on Thursday morning, authorities said.
The multi-alarm fire broke out around 5 a.m. at 12th Street and Bayshore Avenue.
When crews arrived on the scene, heavy flames were shooting from the building. Firefighters say half a dozen departments came to help keep the fire from spreading to other buildings.
"There was fire just showing the studs of the building - that's how quickly it progressed due to the wind conditions, the exposed gas lines that burned through rapidly," said Captain Tim Daley of the Brigantine Fire Department.
Four units burned to the ground and a fifth unit suffered heavy damage, authorities said.
"I looked out the window and it was blazing. All 3 or four of those condos were on fire," said neighbor Jessica Papale, who said some who lived even closer to the fire were forced to evacuate.
Ashes were scattered up and down the block, in the streets and on cars.
"The embers were flying all the way - the wind was blowing just like this off the bay and they went into this house - the whole street was covered," said Papale.
There were no reports of injuries.
Fire officials say the townhomes were used seasonally, so no one was home when the fire started.
Multi-alarm fire damages multiple homes in Brigantine, New Jersey