Tenants recoup belongings after massive Ocean Grove fire

Displaced tenants lined up in the frigid cold Saturday morning in an effort to recoup their belongings after a fire ripped through a historic Ocean Grove block.

As News 12 has reported, the fire sparked early Friday morning at the vacant Warrington Hotel on Seaview Avenue. Strong winds caused the fire to quickly spread to surrounding structures, including the La Pierre condominium complex.

No residents were hurt, but some just barely escaped the fire. Three firefighters suffered minor injuries. A total of 100 people were displaced by the incident.

Neighbors have expressed concerns that the fire in the vacant Warrington hotel building might have been started by squatters, but no official cause has been released.

Four buildings on the block were completely destroyed, and three others were damaged.

The west side of the La Pierre building suffered severe damage, but the east sustained only minimal damage. Residents were being allowed back into the building for 15 minutes at a time to salvage their personal effects.

Donations are being collected in Asbury Park for those displaced by the fire, including coats and warm gear. Those who want to help can drop off donations at the Lock and Shade from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., or the Wonder Bar from 12 p.m. to 7 pm. both today and Sunday. The Wonder Bar is accepting donations for pets of displaced residents.

The Red Cross is putting some of the displaced residents up at the Asbury Hotel.

The town will be hosting a tribute to the fire's first responders Sunday night along Seaview Avenue. Organizers say the event is the community's way of thanking fire officials and a chance to collect donations for fire victims.

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