Nearly three dozen people have been displaced by a fast-moving fire that destroyed several buildings in downtown Paterson.

Heavy smoke from a fire in Paterson (News 12 New Jersey)

Battalion Chief William Henderson tells The Record that crews must demolish the buildings so that firefighters can gain access to deep pockets of fire trapped below collapsed roofs and doors.

The fire broke out Wednesday night on River Street and quickly engulfed a building with a restaurant on the first floor.

However, wind gusts of up to 40 mph spread embers, which ignited at least four nearby buildings.

The Red Cross says 28 people were relocated to a hotel on Wednesday night. Six more were relocated Thursday. There are no reports of serious injuries.

NBC 4 New York reports that over a dozen newborn puppies were rescued from the one of the buildings evacuated during fire.

There's no word what caused the initial blaze.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.