Seaside Park Fire Threatens to Throw Town Hit Hard By Hurricane Sandy Back Into Chaos
A fire that started at a frozen custard shop in Seaside Park, N.J. has spread across the boardwalk, reaching businesses including FunTown Pier and the town of Seaside Heights rebuilt after Hurricane Sandy, police said.
Emergency personnel arrived at the scene for a report of smoke near Kohr's Frozen Custard Shop in Seaside Park around 2:30 p.m. The cause of the fire is still unclear. NJ Governor Chris Christie is en route to the scene, promising the full assistance of the state in dealing with the devastation.
Janet Meisner, a Seaside Park resident, told ABC News that she feared the fire would usher another crippling blow to the community, which depends on the boardwalk to keep its economy afloat.
"This is another tremendous wrench in the recovery," Seaside Park Mayor Robert Matthies said.
According to Police Chief Francis Larkin, a strong wind worsened the firefighting attempts spreading the fire significantly with small blazes emerging across the area. Seaside Heights firefighters will use construction equipment to remove sections of the town's newly rebuilt boardwalk in hopes of stopping the advance of the blaze, borough administrator John Camera said.
"As it continues to burn the boardwalk and out buildings, it is very, very hard to stop. There is so much wood structure up there," he said. "Right now we can't say much other than they are doing their best to contain an out-of-control fire."