EDGEWATER, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Hundreds of people who live in the surviving structure of a northern New Jersey apartment complex that was mostly destroyed by a fire this week have returned to their homes.

The Record reports that residents of the Avalon Bay complex in Edgewater were notified late Friday night that they would be allowed return Saturday morning. Residents of the four-story building’s top floor were allowed in first, while residents in the descending floors were later allowed in at hourly intervals.

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Officials were also inspecting the units for smoke and water damage caused by the massive fire that broke out Wednesday. Officials have said workers accidentally started the blaze, and the building’s lightweight, wooden structure fueled the flames and made fighting the fire difficult.

“It’s actually a very humbling experience to compare yourself, being able to come home, and looking across and seeing that a lot of people can’t come home,” one returning resident told 1010 WINS’ Gary Baumgarten.

No one was killed in the blaze, which destroyed the complex’s other building.

Maintenance workers fixing a leak and using a torch is what started the massive fire officials said Thursday night.

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As 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported, Edgewater police Chief William Skidmore said at a news conference the workers were using a blow-torch to make repairs to a leak at the Avalon at Edgewater complex, when a plumber accidentally ignited the fire in a wall.

Donations have been pouring in for residents who lost everything in the blaze.

A fund has also been set up at gofundme.com/edgewater-fire. Another donation site has been set up at edgewaterstrong.com.

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