Fire destroys 3 buildings, apartments in Paterson along Totowa Avenue

Witnesses say a liquor store and the apartments above it have caught fire. (4/20/14)

PATERSON - A fire ripped through three buildings, destroying businesses and several apartments along Totowa Avenue in Paterson Sunday.

Three ground floor businesses including a laundromat, liquor store and travel agency were gutted by the flames, which started at around 9:30 a.m.

Fire officials say the blaze started at the liquor store located at 374 Totowa Ave. They say it quickly spread to the two adjoining structures.

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The rear of the three structures collapsed, making it hard for firefighters to knock out the flames. Fire crews needed cranes to demolish the building in an effort to put out hotspots trapped inside the structures.

One person was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation, and two firefighters were treated for minor injuries.

The Red Cross is assisting eight adults and six children whose homes were destroyed on Easter Sunday. 

Officials say an investigation into what caused the fire will begin once the fire is completely out.

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