Boardwalk fire 'suppressed,' but still burning in New Jersey - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Boardwalk fire 'suppressed,' but still burning in Sandy-ravaged New Jersey

A 6-alarm fire has burned at the Seaside Park, NJ boardwalk for more than three hours. (Source: KYW/CNN) A 6-alarm fire has burned at the Seaside Park, NJ boardwalk for more than three hours. (Source: KYW/CNN)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie updates NBC 'Nightly News' anchor Brian WIlliams live via cell phone as the plume of smoke grows in the background. (Source: Gov. Chris Christie/Twitter) New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie updates NBC 'Nightly News' anchor Brian WIlliams live via cell phone as the plume of smoke grows in the background. (Source: Gov. Chris Christie/Twitter)
The location of the boardwalk is causing problems for firefighters who need large amounts of water to fight the growing blaze. (Source: KYW/CNN) The location of the boardwalk is causing problems for firefighters who need large amounts of water to fight the growing blaze. (Source: KYW/CNN)
A large fire has taken over a popular boardwalk area in Seaside Park, NJ on Thursday. (Source: KYW/CNN) A large fire has taken over a popular boardwalk area in Seaside Park, NJ on Thursday. (Source: KYW/CNN)

SEASIDE PARK, NJ (RNN) – Firefighters have gained control of the once 6-alarm fire that engulfed the New Jersey boardwalk in Seaside Park, NJ, but it still burned late into Thursday night.

Firefighters have declared the fire contained, according to local affiliates, and Seaside Park Mayor Robert Matthies said "it certainly looks like it's been suppressed." The Associated Press reports that the once large plumes of smoke and flames had been reduced to small pockets.

At least 100 firefighters were still on the scene as of 7 a.m. EDT Friday, putting out hot spots, aided by heavy rain, the local affiliates reported.

The fire claimed nearly 80 percent of the boardwalk that mostly survived Superstorm Sandy, and that more than 50 buildings hade been destroyed. According to NJ.com, one firefighter was hospitalized with complications related to smoke inhalation.

The fire began around 2:15 p.m. ET and was first reported as a 5-alarm fire, according to local affiliates. The fire escalated quickly, and became a 6-alarm fire shortly before 4 p.m. ET.

News affiliate KYW reported that the fire began at 1800 Boardwalk on the FunTown Amusement Pier in Kohr's Ice Cream shop. The fire quickly spread through 19 other buildings, according to NJ.com.

According to the Associated Press, eight blocks of the boardwalk were destroyed by the fire - four blocks in Seaside Park and four in Seaside Heights, Seaside Park's neighbor to the north.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called the fire "an unthinkable situation" that required the response of 400 firefighters, 35 engine companies and 15 ladder companies from the surrounding area.

Winds were gusting at between 20-30 miles an hour, making the fire difficult to contain as the wind enhanced it. The fire reportedly spit out embers "the size of fists," according to the Associated Press.

Public works crews stopped the fire from spreading further by ripping out a 25-foot portion of the boardwalk, creating a firebreak. The break was then filled with makeshift sand dunes to block the fire from spreading, as firefighters pumped water to fight the blaze from nearby Barnegat Bay.

Christie said when he was first briefed on the boardwalk blaze that "I felt like I want to throw up."

"After all of the time and effort and resources we put in to help these folks of Seaside Park and Seaside Heights to rebuild. As I said at the top, it is just unthinkable," Christie said at an evening press conference Thursday.

Local affiliates reported that many firefighters, bystanders and employees at the various shops on the boardwalk were being treated for smoke inhalation. The surrounding pier was evacuated once first responders arrived.

Witness Douglas Iannotti said he was afraid of the fire and the devastation it caused.

"I walk out of my house and I could see smoke coming into the sky. I walked up to the Boardwalk and I seen Kohr's on fire. I walked down to the beach and Kohr's was burning up. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Within 15 minutes there were more flames than I've ever seen in my life. I got scared," Iannotti said.

Christie arrived at the devastated area in the late afternoon from Trenton, NJ. Before he arrived, he tweeted his immediate concerns on the blaze.

"En route to Seaside now. Pls keep everyone in the surrounding areas, the firefighters & first responders fighting the blaze in ur prayers," the governor tweeted Thursday afternoon.

The Seaside Park boardwalk is a popular summer destination for people in the area, and was one of the areas most affected by Superstorm Sandy in October 2012. The Seaside Park boardwalk is the neighbor of the popular Seaside Heights, NJ, boardwalk.

Seaside Heights was the location of the popular MTV reality television show The Jersey Shore.

The boardwalk reopened for the summer on Memorial Day after being closed because of Sandy construction. According to CNN, costs to rebuild the Seaside Heights boardwalk from Sandy damage came to $8 million. The total cost of Superstorm Sandy damage in the Seaside Heights area was $16 million.

Christie also escorted Britain's Prince Harry on a tour of the Superstorm Sandy-damaged area that included Seaside Heights during his American trip in May.

The cause of the fire has not been released. According to CNN, a few firefighters sustained minor injuries, but were treated on the scene.

Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Gulfport's Matt Luke fulfills a dream to become Ole Miss Head Football Coach

    Gulfport's Matt Luke fulfills a dream to become Ole Miss Head Football Coach

    Tuesday, July 25 2017 12:10 AM EDT2017-07-25 04:10:04 GMT

    The Luke family has been committed to Ole Miss for years.  On Monday Matt Luke met the media in Oxford four days after taking over the head coaching reins from Hugh Freeze.

    More >>

    The Luke family has been committed to Ole Miss for years.  On Monday Matt Luke met the media in Oxford four days after taking over the head coaching reins from Hugh Freeze.

    More >>
  • Matt Luke introduced as Ole Miss interim head coach

    Matt Luke introduced as Ole Miss interim head coach

    Monday, July 24 2017 11:58 PM EDT2017-07-25 03:58:50 GMT
    WLBTWLBT

    14 years as part of the Ole Miss football program as a coach or player has prepared Matt Luke for this opportunity. Admittedly it doesn't come under the circumstances he might've envisioned. But with a Rebel bloodline that runs 3 generations deep, the position fulfills a lifelong dream. "I can truly tell y'all today that this is my dream job," Luke said Monday at his first press conference as Ole Miss interim head coach. "It's a job that I've been preparing my whole li...

    More >>

    14 years as part of the Ole Miss football program as a coach or player has prepared Matt Luke for this opportunity. Admittedly it doesn't come under the circumstances he might've envisioned. But with a Rebel bloodline that runs 3 generations deep, the position fulfills a lifelong dream. "I can truly tell y'all today that this is my dream job," Luke said Monday at his first press conference as Ole Miss interim head coach. "It's a job that I've been preparing my whole li...

    More >>
  • Rain puts Pascagoula's new football turf on the clock

    Rain puts Pascagoula's new football turf on the clock

    Monday, July 24 2017 11:09 PM EDT2017-07-25 03:09:56 GMT
    Rain has slowed down construction crews as they attempt to put a new field turf at War Memorial Stadium (Photo Source: WLOX News Now)Rain has slowed down construction crews as they attempt to put a new field turf at War Memorial Stadium (Photo Source: WLOX News Now)

    The Pascagoula Panthers open the 2017 football season on the road. In fact, their first three games are road contests. That scheduling quirk may give field turf crews just enough time to get War Memorial Stadium ready for the September 8 home opener. The wet weather in South Mississippi is placing quite the burden on construction workers as they attempt to complete stadium renovations. The project was suppose to be finished before the beginning of Pascagoula's football season.

    More >>

    The Pascagoula Panthers open the 2017 football season on the road. In fact, their first three games are road contests. That scheduling quirk may give field turf crews just enough time to get War Memorial Stadium ready for the September 8 home opener. The wet weather in South Mississippi is placing quite the burden on construction workers as they attempt to complete stadium renovations. The project was suppose to be finished before the beginning of Pascagoula's football season.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly