A fire that started in an unoccupied oceanfront hotel was fanned by winds of near hurricane force and spread to adjacent buildings, engulfing and destroying an entire block of businesses, fire-fighters said. No injuries were reported.

The glow from the flames could be seen from miles away, a witness said.

The ferocious blaze started late Thursday or early Friday at the three—storey Surf Hotel in Hampton, a densely populated community along the Atlantic coast an hour’s drive north of Boston, fire Capt. David Lang said. The block of five wood—frame buildings, including a games arcade, a storage facility and a building that housed a gift shop and apartments quickly caught fire.

Most of the businesses in the area, including the Surf Hotel, are only open in the summer, and Hampton fire chief Steve Benotti said no one was in any of the buildings. The fire has been contained, he said.

The weather at the time was rainy and windy because of a storm moving up the Atlantic coast, which helped to fan the flames, Capt. Lang said.

No cause of the fire had been identified.

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