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4-Alarm Fire At Columbus Farmers Market In Burlington County, NJ

By Todd Quinones

SPRINGFIELD Twp., N.J. (CBS) -- Fire crews battled a four-alarm blaze at a landmark in Burlington County, New Jersey Tuesday afternoon.

The timing of the fire is terrible.

Thanksgiving is one of busiest times of year.

As flames shot through the roof, shop owners could only watch and hope their businesses didn't burn.

"We're just waiting to see what's going on," said business owner Holly Newell.

WATCH: Chopper 3 Over The Scene Of Columbus Farmers Market Fire

Building four of the Columbus Farmers Market complex off Route 206 was heavily damaged.

Strong winds fanned the flames.

PHOTOS: 4-Alarm Blaze At Columbus Farmers Market

One hundred and fifty firefighters battled the four-alarm fire to keep it contained.

"The cold weather and winds were really a big issue on this. It gave the fire a good head start once it started in there," said Juliustown Fire Department Chief John Trout.

Indications are most business and shop owners in this section of the market have lost everything.

And with Thanksgiving right around the corner, affected shop owners are left scrambling.

"We don't know what's going to transpire from the fire or anything whether we'll be able to open out there or not because we have a location outside also," said business owner Mike Charnik.

The market was closed for business on Tuesday as normal and no one was injured.

The fire marshal is investigating a cause of the fire which started just after 2 p.m.

After another fire in the 1970's, the fire chief says renovations to the market then helped protect it now from catastrophic damage.

"The building it was built with firewalls in place which helped us tremendously to confine the fire to one section of the market," said Trout.

Other parts of the farmers market were not seriously damaged.

Just how many of the 65 retail stores inside the landmark farmers market will be open for business this weekend isn't clear.


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