New Jersey

Fire Spreads to 20 Homes in Hamilton Township

At least 20 homes were damaged after a massive fire ripped through a block in Hamilton Township, New Jersey.

The fire started on the 1700 block of East State Street Monday afternoon and spread to at least 20 row homes, causing serious damage to 15. Investigators say strong winds caused the fire to quickly spread from home to home.

"It moved fast," said Hamilton Township Fire Chief Thomas Gribben. "We ran out of personnel very quickly. We couldn't get them on scene fast enough. That's how fast it was running." 

Around 175 firefighters responded to the 6-alarm blaze and were eventually able to bring the flames under control. The block was evacuated as residents helped their fellow neighbors.

"Someone knocked on the door and said, 'Come out! The house is on fire,'" said Alice Leach, one of the residents.

No injuries were reported during the blaze.

Officials continue to investigate the cause but say workers were repairing a roof on top of one of the homes when the fire began.

The Red Cross is currently assisting the displaced residents, many of whom lost everything.

"It can be replaced," Leach said. "I'm just thankful that I have my life." 

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