MANCHESTER - Sunday afternoon's fire in the township's Whiting Shopping Center is the second to occur this month, and it is deemed suspicious in nature.

Local police, in conjunction with the Ocean County Prosecutor's and Fire Marshal's Offices and the Ocean County Sheriff's Crime Scene Investigations Unit, maintain an active search for a suspect, and they are following tips sent to them.

A vacant unit in the Lacey Road mall's rear section went up in flames. Police said that the space, and the adjoining Charles Edwards "A" Salon, sustained fire, water and smoke damage.

Officers responded at about 3:30 PM, and found black smoke billowing from the roof, authorities said. Firefighters tamped downt the flames that enveloped a wall and raced upward into attic space.

Members of the Whiting, Manchester, Ridgeway and Lakehurst volunteer fire companies responded, along with a squad from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.

Manchester PD Patrolman Juralewicz leads the investigation, and can be reached at 732-657-2009, extension 6371.

Anyone wishing to leave information anonymously and confidentially can do so digitally, through the Manchester PD Tip Line portal.

More from WOBM:

Sign Up For The WOBM Newsletter