Fire Engulfs Seaside Boardwalk Landmark
The massive fire ripped its way up the boardwalk on Thursday, leaving charred remnants in its wake from Seaside Park to Seaside Heights.
UPDATE: 10:25 p.m. After reaching 10 alarms, Seaside Heights reports the fire is contained.
This weekend's Boy Scouts Camporee and New Heights events have been canceled.
UPDATE: 7:22 p.m. Governor Christie says, 'Stay away.' Crews need easy access to the area, and visitors will impede the effort.
Water is being pulled from the bay, as post-Sandy damage to Seaside's infrastructure made it difficult for crews to access water.
Christie said they are not speculating on the cause of the blaze, and that the first priority is to get control of and put out the fire.
They are hoping to get ahead of the fire at Lincoln Ave. where crews have dug a deep trench in the new boardwalk.
'After all the effort and time and resources that we've put in...this is just unthinkable. As soon as this over, we'll pick ourselves up, we'll dust ourselves off, and we'll get back to work.'
He also said, 'the destruction south of Lincoln (Ave.) is complete.'
UPDATE: 7:09 p.m. News 12 New Jersey received video from a viewer of the fire when it first appears to have first started today just after 2 p.m.
UPDATE: 4:49 p.m. There is a fully involved fire in a Seaside Heights condo complex near the boardwalk, sparked by burning embers. There are fire crews from as far away as Jackson reporting to the scene. WABC-TV reports water is being taken from the bay to help fight the blaze. Rt. 37 eastbound is closed to non-residents, and drivers and onlookers alike are urged to stay away from the area unless absolutely necessary.
UPDATE 4:48 p.m. Jack & Bill's bar is on fire, and from video footage, appears to be a total loss. The fire is continuing to spread north, approaching the Beachcomber Bar & Grill. UPDATE: 4:35 p.m. Seaside Heights Borough Administrator John Camera told WABC-TV that crews may start breaking up sections of the southern Seaside Heights boardwalk in an attempt to curb the flames.
UPDATE 4:10 p.m. NJ.comreports the fire has spread to two other buildings, and several firefighters and residents are being treated at the scene for smoke inhalation. People are advised to avoid the area. Live video footage from WKYW-TV shows the heavy black smoke spreading north for miles.
UPDATE: 3:14 p.m. The situation is worsening, with the fire spreading to adjacent buildings and eating up the boardwalk. A portion of the building has reportedly collapsed.
Point News director Tom Mongelli has learned the fire is fully engulfed at the Kohr's Ice Cream stand near Funtown Pier. A strong wind is hindering efforts to battle the blaze.
It really seems as though Seaside just can't catch a break. Our thoughts are with the affected business owners and workers in the area.
Avoid the area if you can, as heavy smoke is reported throughout the area, including both directions of Rt. 35.
Stay tuned for updates throughout the day from Point News.