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  • A stubborn fire is roaring through a block in Dover, New Jersey, and at least a dozen fire departments are struggling to contain it[hhmc]

  • At least one building has collapsed in the fast-moving fire on Warren Street[hhmc]

  • The mayor says the fire will be devastating to the downtown area of Dover, which was undergoing development[hhmc]

More than 100 people have lost their homes as a massive fire fed by natural gas lines tore through a block in Dover, New Jersey, raging for hours as two buildings collapsed Monday.

The stubborn fire on Warren Street gutted one building, causing it to collapse. Three other buildings also collapsed.

At least 16 fire departments responded and struggled to contain the blaze, which quickly rose to seven alarms. Tanker trucks were brought in to help firefighters with the dwindling water supply.

Stubborn Blaze Roars Through New Jersey BlockStubborn Blaze Roars Through New Jersey Block

Mayor James Dodd says the fire started around 3:30 Monday afternoon in the basement of Barry's Luncheonette and then went up and on to other nearby buildings. At 11 p.m., the scene was still a smoky mess.

The fire burned for so long because it was fed by natural gas lines, and when the gas was finally turned off, firefighters were able to get the fire under control. Hot spots persist, however, and flames are continuing to pop up.

Dodd said no one was injured, but the fire has dealt a devastating blow to the community.

Massive Fire Rips Through NJ BlockMassive Fire Rips Through NJ Block

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"Now we have residents who are going to be displaced," said Dodd. "Our local businesses are struggling to do well. We're in the middle of developing our downtown area, it's undergoing a complete renovation so it couldn't have come at a worse time."

At least six businesses have been destroyed, and buildings have been evacuated in the Morris County community about 30 miles west of New York City.

The more than 100 people left homeless by the fire were taking shelter at a nearby firehouse Monday night, comforted by some of the same first responders who were on scene earlier in the day.

Although the fire was fed by gas lines, the exact cause as to what initially sparked the inferno has not yet been determined.

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USA Today

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