WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- A raging fire engulfed on Thursday a section of the famed boardwalk in the U.S. state of New Jersey, spreading to over a dozen nearby seaside buildings, local media reported.
According to a report by the Star-Ledger, the fire began inside an ice cream store in Seaside Park, spreading to at least 19 other buildings along the popular boardwalk on the Jersey Shore. Evacuations are being ordered for more than six blocks to the north.
The blaze began about 2:15 p.m. at Kohr's Ice Cream near the boardwalk -- not far from where Hurricane Sandy destroyed a large part of the Seaside Heights boardwalk in 2012. Fueled by a strong southeast wind, the fire spread quickly.
Firefighters were sent to battle the blaze, but winds made it difficult to contain the fire. By late afternoon, firefighters were ordered to pull back because of the intensity of the flames. Several firefighters and residents were being treated at the scene for smoke inhalation. No serious injuries have been reported.
Weather reports said thunderstorms are expected in the area of Seaside Heights and Seaside Park in the next two to three hours, and that could change the winds that are giving firefighters difficulty, according to the report.
The cause of the fire is still unknown. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has arrived at the scene to direct firefighting efforts.