Fire Displaced About 200 People This Past Weekend

NORTH BERGEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Authorities on Wednesday said a five-story building in North Bergen, N.J. should be demolished, following severe damage from an extra-alarm fire last weekend.

North Bergen officials said they notified the building’s owner of their decision this week, but noted that the owner has the right to appeal the decision.

Officials have said about 200 people were displaced by the five-alarm fire in the building on John F. Kennedy Boulevard, which broke out around 5:30 p.m. Saturday and burned for about five hours before it was brought under control.

The smoke could be seen from as far away as the West Side of Manhattan, 1010 WINS reported.

Many displaced residents have been staying at hotels, with the town and the American Red Cross picking up the bills.

Authorities said it appears that an electrical problem sparked the blaze, but the investigation was ongoing Wednesday.

No residents were injured, but a firefighter suffered broken ribs while battling the blaze. His injuries were not considered life-threatening. Residents told CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell that many pets were not able to be rescued.

About 100 people lived in the building, while another 100 lived in an adjacent structure.

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