7-alarm fire shuts down 6 schools in Paterson

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PATERSON, N.J. — Multiple schools are closed Tuesday in New Jersey because of a stubborn fire blazing through an unused armory in Paterson that has been so extensively damaged by flames it will have to demolished, authorities said.

Classes are cancelled at Eastside High School, School 11, School 15, Roberto Clemente, New Roberto Clemente and Madison Early Learning, according to Paterson Public Schools.

The seven-alarm fire broke out about 11 p.m. Monday at the Paterson Armory, located at 465 Market St., officials said. Flames may have started in the basement of the building, which was erected in 1894 and once served as New Jersey's major National Guard facility. It hasn't been occupied since 1999.

No injuries have been reported. By midday Tuesday, firefighters were still on the scene and flames were seen lapping at the structure's roof.

Paterson Fire Chief Michael Postorino said it "may never be determined" what sparked the blaze.

Residents near the fire are asked to keep their windows closed or to relocate to a temporary shelter while the thick, heavy smoke lingers in the area.

PIX11 News' James Ford contributed to this report.

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