The area around two buildings that were destroyed by a Monday afternoon fire on Brighton has been reopened to traffic.
The fire was brought under control around 5 p.m. on Monday after firefighters from Long Branch and several surrounding towns battled it for over 6 hours.
There are now more DPW crews on hand than firefighters and heavy machinery is being used to try to move debris from the street and get Brighton Avenue completely reopened.
The smoke, which could once be seen from as far away as Asbury Park on Monday afternoon, is now just smoldering ash.
All that remains of the building is a few walls, the foundation and sections of the stores' awnings.
The fire appears to have started in a small vacant building and spread to another building that houses apartments above several small businesses including The Wave Boutique and Sacred Circle.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
The buildings are located directly east of the Lighthouse, and the one above The Wave Boutique began to collapse around 1 p.m. on Monday, spilling debris onto Brighton Avenue. There are 12 apartments in the building and everybody was safely evacuated and was uninjured.
However, there are several reports stating that tenant's pets died in the fire.
Embers from the blaze reportedly ignited a small fire at the Wells Fargo Bank at the corner of Brighton Avenue and Ocean Avenue. However, that fire was brought under control in minutes, thanks to its close proximity to the original scene which is a block away from the bank.
The fire was reported around 11:15 a.m. and multiple fire crews from Long Branch, West Long Branch and Asbury Park were dispatched to the scene.
A large number of people have been forced from their homes and the Jersey Shore Chapter of the American Red Cross is currently helping the victims.