TOMS RIVER — A fire heavily damaged a Jersey Shore shopping center early Monday morning.

Flames broke out just after midnight in the Ocean National Plaza shopping center, on the southbound side of Route 9 at Cox Cro Road in Toms River, according to police. Several fire companies from Toms River and surrounding communities responded to the fire.

Police did not report any injuries to firefighters or anyone inside the shopping plaza.

Ocean County Scanner News reported the fire appeared to originate in the BJ's cleaners. The plaza is also home to a Chinese food restaurant called Wing Far, Esposito's Pizza, and a Mexican restaurant called Azteca.

The Ocean County Fire Marshal and the Prosecutor's Office are investigating the cause of the fire.

Route 9 was closed all night for the fire operations but reopened around 5:30 a.m.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ.

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