A huge fire ripped through the Jersey Shore boardwalk Thursday night, destroying dozens of businesses along a four-block stretch in Seaside Park and Seaside Heights, two of the areas devastated during last year's Hurricane Sandy.
Over 500 firefighters battled the ten-alarm blaze, which started at about 2:15 p.m. at the 90-year-old Kohr's Frozen Custard Shop. Thirty m.p.h. hour winds and flammable tar roofs helped the fire spread north, and within 15 minutes the flames were out of control.
"I feel like I want to throw up," Gov. Chris Christie said at a press conference. "After all the effort and time and resources that we put in to help the folks in Seaside Park and Seaside Heights rebuild, to see this going on...is just unthinkable."
Firefighters gained control of the blaze at about 9 p.m., but not before 50 stores burned and a 20-foot chunk of the boardwalk was ripped out to create a firebreak. Many of the businesses destroyed by the fire had just been rebuilt after sustaining damages from Hurricane Sandy, which devastated the Jersey Shore last summer.
The Star-Ledger spoke to a Leonardo Graci, a carpenter who helped reconstruct sections of the boardwalk ruined by the storm.
"I just got done rebuilding this and I can’t believe it," Graci said. "I’m in shock. This was my proudest moment as a carpenter.”
[Image via AP]