fire in wildwood

Firefighters responded to a fire early Wednesday at the old Collen’s Restaurant on Schellenger Avenue in Wildwood.

WILDWOOD — Firefighters responded overnight Wednesday to the site of the former Collen’s Restaurant on East Schellenger Avenue for a fire.

At 1:45 a.m., firefighters from North Wildwood and Wildwood were dispatched to 222 E. Schellenger Ave., where they found smoke exiting the building, according to a news release.

Assistance was called, including off-duty city firefighters, and trucks from Wildwood Crest, Stone Harbor, Rio Grande and West Wildwood arrived.

The 2½-story building has been vacant for two years, according to the release, and the alarms and suppression systems inside had been “disconnected or shut-off,” fire officials said.

The Fire Department activated the sprinkler system and used hoses to douse the flames inside.

Because the building was large and vacant with “unknown fire conditions inside,” a second alarm was requested, and trucks from Erma and the Villas responded.

Firefighters were on scene for about two hours “extinguishing hidden pockets of fire” on the first, second and attic floors, according to the report.

The building sustained fire, smoke and water damage throughout.

Wildwood Crest EMS, Rio Grande EMS and Wildwood police also assisted.

The fire is under investigation by the Wildwood City Fire Department, Wildwood City Police Department and the Cape May County Fire Marshal’s Office.

Contact: 609-272-7260 Twitter @ACPressColtShaw

Staff Writer

I cover breaking news on the digital desk. I graduated from Temple University in Dec. 2017 and joined the Press in the fall of 2018. Previously, I freelanced, covering Pennsylvania state politics and criminal justice reform.

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