The incident occurred shortly after 8 AM in the area of 2nd Street and Forest Avenue, and smoke can be seen for miles.
UPDATE: A 2nd alarm has been toned out, requesting all firefighters to respond.
Buildings in a two-block radius are being evacuated and roads are being shut.
Lakewood is requesting mutual aid from surrounding townships.
UPDATE: A resident who was evacuated tells TLS the explosion was reportedly caused after a tractor struck a gas line.
UPDATE: Lakewood Hatzolah, EMS, Lakewood First Aid and other OEM organizations are assisting with the evacuation efforts.
UPDATE 8:55 AM: The gas line has been shut and the fire has been mostly contained.
UPDATE 9:38 AM: Crews continue to check for gas leaks in the area. Residents not yet allowed back in their homes.
Police Commissioner Meir Lichtenstein gives update at the scene.
BREAKING VIDEO: Hundreds being evacuated as fire burns near multiple homes and buildings in Lakewood. Every emergency agency in town being activated. https://t.co/M5Y66aHsDV pic.twitter.com/NgWPI2WbHx
— The Lakewood Scoop (@LakewoodScoop) November 12, 2018
AERIAL PHOTOS PROVIDED TO TLS BY NBC New York.