Jersey Shore Boardwalk Destroyed In Seaside Park Fire
The boardwalk that stretches along the beach of Seaside Park, N.J. battled a blaze on Thursday afternoon that left it in charred ruins.
A fire broke out at Kohr’s Frozen Custard on the Jersey Shore boardwalk after 2 p.m. yesterday and rapidly spread to nearby buildings. Not yet a year after Hurricane Sandy leveled much of the boardwalk, winds took the blaze on a tear along 80% of the stretch of shops and arcades. “This is like a sucker punch,” Seaside Park Business Administrator Robert Martucci told the New York Daily News.
"An unbelievable effort was made so that this town can come back," Martucci added. "But for this to happen now is just inconceivable.”
Embers as large as fists rained down on the businesses and injured firefighters battling the flames. Though more than 400 local firefights worked tirelessly for hours on the ravaging inferno, they looked on helplessly as one building after another collapsed in flames. The 10-alarm fire, aided by winds reaching 30 mph, couldn’t be contained until the evening.
“The fire appears to be under control,” town administrator John Camera said late Thursday night. "There'll be people stationed there probably for another day or more and they expect that there may be controlled burning."
Echoing the sentiments of many New Jersey residents, Gov. Chris Christie stated at the scene, “I feel like I want to throw up,” according to USA Today.
In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy rampaged through much of the Jersey Shore, including a stretch of the Seaside Park boardwalk that was recently repaired. Millions have been spent replacing the planks and rebuilding the local communities that suffered from flooding and destructive high winds.
“This is another tremendous wrench in the recovery,” Seaside Park Mayor Robert Matthies said.
– Chelsea Regan