UPDATE: Six and a half hours after a fire that began in the basement storage room of a Fair Lawn adult day care center spread fire and smoke to other areas of the mixed-used building, firefighters cleared the scene.
Heavy fire continued inside the former Shop-Rite building more than three hours after the blaze broke out around 2:45 this afternoon.
The entire building was evacuated and no injuries were reported.
Multiple vents were cut in the roof, sending clouds of smoke that could be seen for miles.
Firefighters kept at it as the blaze ravaged the first floor of the two-story structure, and by 6:30 the bulk of flames had been knocked down.
By 7:30, the fire was snuffed.
The center is in a mixed-use building at Broadway & Plaza Road that also includes a spa, among other businesses.
It has a stucco exterior finish that one emergency worker told CLIFFVIEW PILOT “is like a brick oven just holding all the heat in.”
After a half-hour or so, smoke began billowing from openings in the building.
Fair Lawn firefighters were initially joined by counterparts from Elmwood Park and Saddle Brook, as well as the Wyckoff FAST TEAM.
Fair Lawn police said more than four dozen day care patients, many elderly or disabled, were evacuated, along with 18 or so from the spa.
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