"Unthinkable" Fire Destroys 4 Blocks of Rebuilt Jersey Shore Boardwalk

"Unthinkable" Fire Destroys 4 Blocks of Rebuilt Jersey Shore Boardwalk

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]

Original post by Lacey Donohue on Gawker

Firefighters Battle Flames on Famous New Jersey Boardwalk

Firefighters Battle Flames on Famous New Jersey Boardwalk

A fire that began around 2:15 p.m. EST at Kohr’s Ice Cream in Seaside Park, New Jersey has now spread to other boardwalk buildings and escalated into a six-alarm blaze. These buildings include the Funtown Amusement Pier building, notable for surviving the devastation Hurricane Sandy.

Due to high winds and the tar roofs, fires are now spreading north to Seaside Heights, with flames being reported at businesses over four blocks away. Firefighters are creating a fire line by removing parts of the boardwalk in order to stop the spread of flames.

Evacuations have been ordered for all buildings six blocks north of the fire and some fire fighters and residents are being treated for smoke inhalation.

Governor Chris Christie has just arrived to the scene. We’ll continue updating the story in the comments.

[Image via AP/Fox 29]

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