News

Prosecutor: Fire that destroyed 5 Toms River shops deemed suspicious

Posted: Updated:
TOMS RIVER -

A fast-moving fire that destroyed five businesses at a Toms River strip mall has been deemed suspicious.

The Ocean County Prosecutor's Office announced the finding Monday, several hours after the fire broke out at the Ocean National Plaza on Route 9 south.

The blaze, which was reported around 12:10 a.m. Monday, quickly spread to other stores.

Toms River police say three restaurants were among the businesses destroyed in the blaze, which sent flames shooting high into the sky. It was fought for several hours by dozens of firefighters from Toms River and neighboring towns.

News 12 New Jersey is told that an employee from the strip mall was driving by around midnight and saw someone firebomb the Azteca Mexican Restaurant. But officials have not been able to confirm this.

Other businesses destroyed include Italian restaurant Esposito’s, BJ’s Dry Cleaner and Kokomo Nail Salon and an empty storefront.

Police say that no one was hurt. The fire is under investigation.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

  • New Jersey SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • 70th Emmy Awards

    70th Emmy Awards

    The 70th Emmy Awards were held at Microsoft Theater on Sept. 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.The 70th Emmy Awards were held at Microsoft Theater on Sept. 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
    The 70th Emmy Awards were held at Microsoft Theater on Sept. 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.The 70th Emmy Awards were held at Microsoft Theater on Sept. 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

    The 70th Emmy Awards were held at Microsoft Theater on Sept. 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

    The 70th Emmy Awards were held at Microsoft Theater on Sept. 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

  • Guide: New Jersey Breweries

    Guide: New Jersey Breweries

    Wednesday, September 5 2018 2:50 PM EDT2018-09-05 18:50:41 GMT

    Looking to check out brewery this summer? There are many breweries across the state for beer-lovers to visit. Check out our list for breweries in your area. 

    Looking to check out brewery this summer? There are many breweries across the state for beer-lovers to visit. Check out our list for breweries in your area. 

  • Guide: Where to find food trucks in New Jersey

    Guide: Where to find food trucks in New Jersey

    Food Truck Friday: Callahan'sFood Truck Friday: Callahan's

    Craving something savory or sweet? It doesn't really matter when it comes to food trucks, where you can have it all -- you just have to know where to find them! Here is a list of food trucks and where you could find them in New Jersey.

    Craving something savory or sweet? It doesn't really matter when it comes to food trucks, where you can have it all -- you just have to know where to find them! Here is a list of food trucks and where you could find them in New Jersey.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."