Fire rips through row of homes, stores in Irvington

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IRVINGTON, N.J. — Fueled by gusty winds on a frigid night,  a massive fire tore through a row of stores, displacing at least five people and hurting three firefighters in Irvington Wednesday morning.

Authorities said a fire call came in at 1:45 a.m., with the blaze originating in the basement of Headquarters Bar and Grill on Florence Avenue. As many as 60 firefighters battled the blaze until it was brought under control around 4:30 a.m.

No residents were injured but three firefighters were hurt, two after slipping on ice and another due to frostbite to his hand.

The elements made the fire even more difficult to fight off. Winds recorded at 25 to 30 miles per hour helped fan the flames, according to Irvington fire chief John Tierney.

"Wind does create a problem, it actually flares up and hurts the power of our streams," Tierney said.

The blaze spread quickly to a total of six businesses on the first floor including another restaurant and a barber shop, and five apartments on the second floor, according to Tierney. Five people from those apartments, of which only three were occupied, were displaced.

Screenshot shows row of businesses before the fire broke out early Wednesday.

Screenshot shows row of businesses before the fire broke out early Wednesday.

Essex County Prosecutor's Office was called to help investigate the suspicious circumstances of fire's origin.