At least two people were injured during a massive fire that broke out at what was reportedly a shuttered lumber yard in Lakewood on Monday, sending smoke billowing into the air, visible over Barnegat Bay.
The fire broke out shortly after 4 p.m. Monday, with the smoke plume becoming visible almost immediately from miles away. The lumber yard is located off Route 88, with the two injuries believed to have been suffered by squatters who found themselves trapped somewhere on the premises, Lakewood police Capt. Gregory Staffordsmith said.
The Lakewood Scoop reported that Route 88 was shut down between Clifton and Park avenues while firefighters from a number of jurisdictions responded.
The lumber yard was thought to have been empty, police said. Officials have yet to determine what caused the fire to break out. The property, located at 133 Ocean Avenue (Route 88), is currently for sale for $2.3 million. It was described in a real estate advertisement as a “construction material distribution center property.” The yard is strategically located next to a rail line that once allowed lumber to be moved in and out of the facility on freight trains.