THE BRONX - The planned demolition of several buildings gutted in a massive fire last week on Valentine Avenue faced delays from the city and insurance companies, according to fire officials.

The original plan was to have had them removed by 4 p.m. Monday, according to officials, but the several of the buildings' insurance companies refused to use the city's hired contractor.

Flames were still periodically appearing in at least one of the structures, they say.

Neighbors say they feared the scorched structures could collapse at any time.

Officials say they'll raze at least five homes within the next few days, but plan to do them all at once.

Knocking them down one at a time could increase the risk of an uncontrolled collapse, according to officials.

The fire, which broke out Thursday night and blazed through Friday morning, injured at least nine people and displaced about 90. 

The investigation is ongoing.