OCEAN CITY – An early-morning fire Thursday destroyed the second floor of a bayfront duplex in the 200 block of West 17th Street, with resulting water damage to the first floor possibly leading to what may be the complete loss of the structure, fire officials said.

Fire Chief Chris Breunig said about 40 firefighters battled fog and strong south winds in the 4 a.m. blaze, containing the fire in about 90 minutes. Flames shooting from the roof were reported by a neighbor across the street from the unoccupied building.

Breunig said the second floor unit was currently being remodeled. An investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.

As a result of the strong winds, the home to the immediate north of the burning structure sustained smoke damage.

By Cindy Nevitt

Local news editor at the Press of Atlantic City. SUNY Geneseo and Syracuse University grad. New Jersey transplant.