LAKE COMO — Fire destroyed an old Jersey Shore bed-and-breakfast on Friday afternoon.

Fire companies from Belmar, which has just taken on firefighting responsibilities in Lake Como, and other communities fought against high-speed winds with bone-chilling cold to put out the flames at the former Hollycroft Inn on Ripley Lane.

"It was frigid with a strong wind whipping near the lake," photographer Chris Kucinski said of the fire. "There was heavy smoke at first without any flames visible from my vantage point, until after about 30 minutes the fire must have broken through the roof and you could see the flames from across the lake."

Fire officials told TAP into Belmar/Lake Cumo that everyone inside the home made it out without injury.

Firefighters across the state have been without break from the cold snap.

In Newark, for example, firefighters have responded to 11 fires since Dec. 30.

“I commend the efforts of the men and women in the Newark Fire Division who have been fighting fires, biting cold and frigid temperatures during the past several days without losing any lives,” the city's public safety director, Anthony Ambrose, said Friday. “Fighting a raging fire (already) is extremely dangerous without having to also battle intense winds, cold and the icy conditions caused by freezing water.”

In Lake Como, the building is located along Lake Como and just two blocks from the Atlantic Ocean.

Spring Lake Goodwill Fire Co. 1, Spring Lake Fire Co. 2, Glendola Fire Co. and Neptune Township assisted Belmar Volunteer Hook & Ladder Fire Co.

The Hollycroft Inn closed in the early 2000s after 21 years in business.

Some photos courtesy Chris Kucinski Photography

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