- Associated Press - Saturday, October 31, 2015

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. (AP) - A fast-moving fire damaged three stores at a central New Jersey shopping center, but authorities say no injuries were reported.

The fire at the Carriage Square center in West Long Branch was reported around 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Authorities say it apparently started in the ceiling of one business and soon spread to two others, but it’s not yet known what sparked the blaze.

Authorities shut down a stretch of Route 36 while numerous firefighters fought the blaze, causing extensive travel delays in the area. The fire also spawned a thick, heavy cloud of smoke that was visible from miles away.

Crews remained at the scene late Saturday afternoon, working to extinguish several hot spots at the center.

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