ABERDEEN — Three house near the Garden State Parkway were destroyed by fire on Thursday afternoon.

The fire broke out before noon along Highfield Avenue as black smoke billowed from the homes. The fire, whipped by gusty winds, spread to two multi-family houses, according to the Asbury Park Press, which said a kerosene furnace propane tank helped feed the fire.

A picture from the scene several hours after the fire started showed only the charred frame and chimney of the houses.

Red Cross New Jersey said they sent volunteers to assist nine people from three families with temporary shelter and other necessities.