SEA ISLE CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — As Diana Rocco of KYW-TV, Philadelphia reported for CBS 2 Friday night, the fire broke out around 4:48 p.m. Friday in the 7800 block of Pleasure Avenue in Sea Isle City, CBS Philadelphia reported.
Cellphone video showed the flames burning out of control, and quickly spreading from one Sea Isle City beachfront home to the next.
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The fire was so intense that Rich Monkhouse could feel the heat from the beach – where he snapped a picture of a home engulfed in raging, out-of-control flames.
“The center house was gone. The house on the left was almost completely demolished – we watched it collapse and drop,” Monkhouse said.
James McHugh also witnessed the raging blaze.
“It was incredible; I’ve never seen anything like it,” McHugh said. “It was jumping across; it was melting part of the building on other side of Pleasure Avenue.”
As the fire raged, the wind carried the flames from one home to the next — leveling three adjacent homes and damaging 11 more nearby, authorities said.
“The wind obviously plays a factor in this – they’re right on the beach, totally exposed, but that was, the priority was keep the damage where it was,” said Sea Isle City police Lt. Thomas McQuillen.
Two people inside the third structure were able to evacuate. McHugh took a video after seeing the fire burning from his home three blocks away.
“It was raging – you could see, like, every once in a while, like, bursts of just like, huge flames and deep black smoke,” he said.
The fire required aid from 14 towns. Neighbors said two of the homes are seasonal and the owners were out of town, while one was newly built.
“My God, I can’t even imagine what these people are feeling,” said neighbor Roberta Uniglicht.
Late Friday night, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Cape May County, N.J. Fire Marshal’s office were on the scene investigating, and trying to figure out a cause.
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