Firefighters: Unpermitted roof work may have caused North Bergen fire

Officials say roof work that was being done without proper permits may have been the cause of a five-alarm fire at the Kennedy Furniture store in North Bergen.

Officials say the fire started around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday in the back garage area. Within 20 minutes, the entire building was burning. 

Authorities say they got the fire under control late Wednesday afternoon. Some first responders were still on site by Wednesday night. PSEG worked underground, as well. 

Investigations are ongoing, but officials believe roof work may have caused the fire. They have been unable to find a proper permit for the work.

"Anytime you use a torch on the roof, you have to have a fire extinguisher in place. You have to get a permit and make sure all the proper precautions are being taken care of before even attempting the job," says North Bergen fire official Thomas Irving.

If it is concluded that there were no permits, there could be potential fines and license suspensions.

Kennedy Furniture had been in the community for years, and authorities say the flames were fueled by the wooden furniture and mattresses that were inside the store. 

No injuries have been reported.

Officials tell News 12 that they do not believe there was any sort of criminal intention behind the fire.

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