LAKEWOOD — A gas explosion may have triggered a structure fire on Monday.

A resident doing excavation work in their backyard hit a gas line around 8 a.m on 2nd Street and Forest Avenue. Sparks from a tractor being used triggered the fire which caused exterior damage, Lakewood police commissioner Meir Lichtenstein told the Lakewood Scoop

Lichtenstein said initial reports indicate the gas line was unmarked.

The fire sent thick black plumes of smoke into the air, according to the Scoop which reported the gas line was shut off and the fire brought under control by 9 a.m.

Lakewood Police spokesman Lt. LeRoy Marshall said there were no injuries because of the explosion or fire.

"Numerous" people from surrounding units were evacuated, according to Ocean County Sheriff Mike Mastronardi.

Outside of a building that burned after a gas explosion in Lakewood (Ocean County Sheriff's Dept)

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ.