Investigators are sifting through what is left of the dozens of businesses on New Jersey’s famed Seaside boardwalk to determine what caused the blaze. The fire that spanned several blocks started Thursday afternoon, sweeping through business after business less than a year after Superstorm Sandy tore the same area to shreds.
Local firefighters were joined by about 400 firefighters who came over to help contain the blaze from a firefighter convention that was being held just 90 miles south of Seaside in Wildwood. Strong winds caused the fire to spread quickly, stopping only after a section of the newly built boardwalk was ripped up to prevent it from spreading further. Officials estimate the fire destroyed at least 30 businesses and brought down “Fun Town Pier” a Seaside landmark that never recovered from the deadly storm.
Investigators are saying the fire might have started from a frozen custard shop, but have yet to determine how it started. Authorities will investigate the fire as soon as it is safe to do so, as the area is still smoldering. They are considering all possible causes and have not ruled out foul play.
Small business owner Domenic Mauruca, who owned a pizza shop, told Weekends with Alex Witt that it was completely destroyed and will probably be torn down along with other engulfed businesses. “One day at a time with everything. Hopefully everything will work out well. I’m sure it will,” he said.