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Fire Destroys North Bergen Furniture Store

NORTH BERGEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- A two-alarm fire destroyed a furniture store in North Bergen, New Jersey on Wednesday.

The flames also burned nearby electrical wires, knocking out power to about 100 residents.

Video from the scene showed heavy flames and thick black smoke shooting through the roof at Kennedy Furniture on John F. Kennedy Boulevard.

PHOTOS: Raging Fire At North Bergen Furniture Store

The smoke could be seen from across the Hudson River in Manhattan.

Fire on JFK Blvd in North Bergen, NJ
Firefighters are responding to a fire on JFK Blvd in North Bergen, NJ. Photo taken from Manhattan side of Hudson River. (Photo: Joe Cingrana/CBS Local)

The fire broke out around 11 a.m. Wednesday. Officials say it started in the rear of the store and then spread to the front.

Fire Chief Frank Montagne said the entire store -- open for only a year -- was engulfed within the first 15 to 20 minutes of his unit's arrival on the scene.

"It's hundreds and hundreds of pounds of wood and combustible materials which will ignite very quickly," he said. "There was so much fire, you couldn't stand here across the street. The radiant heat was extreme."

As CBS2's Jessica Borg reported, it took as many as 100 firefighters to bring the raging inferno under control.

Watching the store burn was a terrifying experience for Arny Rosario, who's brother works there but was fortunately making a delivery at the time.

"At first I was really scared, then I was really relieved that he was okay," he said.

Kushal Dudhat is one of the 100 residents who lost power. He's lived off the bustling street for nearly 17 years and is grateful that firefighters managed to keep the flames from spreading to nearby homes and businesses, limiting the damage to only one vacant building.

"It seemed impossible to control it," he said. "They did a really phenomenal job and got it under control."

No injuries have been reported and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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