WARETOWN — Fire destroyed a Jersey Shore liquor store that used to be a church on Sunday night.

The fire at the Buy Rite liquor store on Route 9 southbound in Waretown was reported after 11 p.m. in an alert by Ocean Township Police. The road was closed until 5 a.m. as firefighters remained on the scene all night dousing the fire.

The Waretown Volunteer Fire Company said on its Facebook page that additional fire companies were needed because the alcohol inside the store acted as a fuel load.

The Ocean County Scanner News Facebook page reported fire companies from Barnegat, Lanoka Harbor, Stafford, and Toms River assisted Waretown.

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According to a 2015 story in the Press of Atlantic City, the 9,000-square foot store was the former River of Life Family Church. Owner Baba Reddy paid to have the church's steeple moved to another church, his daughter Manasa Reddy told the newspaper.

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