TOMS RIVER — 100 residents of an Ocean County apartment building were forced out of their apartments early Thanksgiving morning by a fire.

The fire was contained to one apartment inside the Highland Plaza apartment building on Highland Parkway around 6:55 a.m., police, creating a heavy smoke condition. Several residents suffered minor smoke inhalation.

The Ocean County Sheriff's Department sent out an alert warning people to stay away from the area, which is off Lakehurst Road near the Garden State Parkway.

Police said residents were evacuated into the morning cold from the five story building and taken by bus to Toms River High School South.Temperatures were in the lower 20's on Thursday morning.

American Red Cross spokeswoman Sheri A. Ferreira, who said many of the residents are seniors said on Thursday afternoon that none of the residents would be allowed to return home due to fire and water damage. Electricity had been cut to the building, she said.

Earlier Ferreira said at least 10 people, and as many as 15 will not be able to return to their apartments right but the rest would be allowed home.

The fire is under investigation by the Ocean County Bureau of Fire Prevention.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ