UPDATE: 10 p.m. -- A total of nine buildings were damaged or destroyed in a wind-driven fire in the Neptune Township community of Ocean Grove. Township Police Lieutenant Mike McGhee said they responded to 9-1-1 calls for a structure fire at around 3:27 pm in the heart of the business district on 50 Main Avenue just two blocks from the ocean. McGhee said a few residents and shopkeepers present were evacuated from the building that housed seven apartments and four businesses.

"The fire completely destroyed the structure, causing the roof to collapse on to the lower floors of the three story building," said McGhee.

One house at the rear of the businesses on Heck Avenue sustained heavy damage.  Seven other structures sustained less significant damage because of exposure to the fire's heat.

One firefighter injured his leg in a slip-and-fall accident and all building occupants and residents have been accounted for.

Some of the businesses affected are the Bella Vista Bed and Breakfast, Smuggler's Cove, Fusion Jewelry, and Yvonne's Cafe.

According to the press release, "All seven Neptune Township and Ocean Grove Fire Departments responded to the scene and had the fire contained within a couple of hours. Fire departments from 12 shore area communities also responded and assisted with the blaze.

A joint investigation is being conducted by the Neptune Township Police Detective Bureau, Monmouth County Fire Marshall, and the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


A large structure fire in Ocean Grove has traffic blocked into and out of the area, with units responding from surrounding towns to fight the blaze.

Neptune Township officials confirm that the fire was reported in one of the shops at 50 Main Avenue late this afternoon. That building is home to various shops and apartments.

Witnesses say the roof of the building has collapsed.

A resident said the fire appears to have started in the back of the building, closer to Heck Ave, and spread to the front on Main Ave., but police have closed off most roadways near the fire. At this point, both Main Ave. and Broadway are closed into and out of town.

Very few details are being released at this time but area residents say the fire is very serious.

Townsquare Media's Rosetta Key contributed to this report.