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52 Residents Displaced After Massive 10-Home Jersey City Fire

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The fire began at roughly 4:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. (Credit: CBS 2)

The fire began at roughly 4:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. (Credit: CBS 2)

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JERSEY CITY, NJ (CBSNewYork/AP) – Five firefighters have been hurt and 52 residents were displaced after a massive fire destroyed or severely damaged at least 10 row homes in Jersey City.

Dozens of firefighters battled the six-alarm blaze, which was reported around 4:20 a.m. Sunday. It then took more than three hours to bring the massive fire under control, and it continued to burn early Sunday afternoon.

Flames spread viciously through a group of two-story, two-family row houses. Two of the buildings collapsed, and a temporary shelter was opened for those affected. Nearly two dozen of the displaced victims are children.

“There’s nothing to indicate any natural reason for a fire to occur, and so our fire folks have a suspicion that there could have been other causes,”  said Larry Ragonese, the press director of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Firefighters had to evacuate the roof of one building because it was buckling.

“We think it’s suspicious because there were two fires that occurred simultaneously in very close proximity,” Ragonese added. “There were no electrical storms, nothing that we know of as far as like campfires or organized outings that could have led to the creation of a fire.”

The injuries suffered by the firefighters were not considered life-threatening.

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(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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