The flames broke out a first-floor produce store on Central Avenue around 1 a.m. and quickly spread upward and to at least two other buildings.
The main structure eventually collapsed like a pancake and is totally destroyed.
Every firefighter on duty in Jersey City was at the scene.
The pesky fire was brought under control in a few hours, but hotspots lingered.
"The fire had pretty good headway...also the fact that this building is attached, extremely old and wood-frame construction," Jersey City fire chief Darren Rivers said. "They made their way in, once they got about 25 to 30 feet in, there was a collapse of the upper stories in that area of the building, so they had to back out and go into defensive mode."
Between five and eight people who lived above the produce business were displaced and temporarily relocated. They lost everything in this fire.
All the residents were able to get out, and no injuries were reported.
In addition to the main building, a party supply store with apartments above it will have to be demolished. The second floor of a Rite Aid on the corner was also damaged.