PERTH AMBOY — Dozens were displaced by an explosion early Sunday morning that leveled a building and destroyed a restaurant.

The explosion on State Street just after 4 a.m., underneath the El Boy restaurant, went to four alarms as firefighters from Perth Amboy and surrounding towns were able to contain the fire to the initial building, according to the Perth Amboy Fire Department.

Fourteen people who lived in the building were displaced by the fire, according to the Red Cross New Jersey, which assisted with temporary housing, clothing, and food needs. Eighteen families from three adjacent buildings were evacuated but were allowed back into their homes on Sunday night.

Fire Chief Edward Mullen told News 12 New Jersey that two firefighters were injured during the fire, including one who fell through a floor.

A wall by the building's back staircase that residents used to escape was blown out by the explosion, Mullen told ABC 7 Eyewitness News.

The building that exploded was demolished during the day as fire crews remained at the scene for over 15 hours. Afterwards, they monitored several remaining hot spots in the rubble.

Over 100 firefighters from Keasbey, Hopelawn, South Amboy, Fords, Port Reading, Sayreville, Iselin, and Edison assisted on location. Middlesex, North Brunswick, Colonia, and Piscataway covered the city during the blaze.

The Middlesex County Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of the explosion.


Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ.

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