The fire is under control but there are numerous ‘hot spots’ of burning material spread throughout the structure, Shrewsbury Fire Chief Pete Gibson tells redbankgreen.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, Gibson says. Investigators appeared to be keying on electrical conduit that was above a ceiling in the structure’s northeast corner.
Newman Springs Road between Route 35 and Shrewsbury Avenue remained closed at 5:30p as a demolition crew prepared to knock in the exterior walls of the building. Officials said detours may remain in effect well into the night.
The Laurel Street side of the building had already partly toppled on its own, as had the entire roof.
The building was open for business at the time the fire was noticed, and there was a small birthday party underway, but everyone got out safely, according to Gibson.
Several firefighters, who responded from a wide area, were treated for smoke inhalation.