Seaside Heights and Seaside Park vowed to rebuild the boardwalk once again following a massive six alarm fire. The blaze tore through five blocks of the boardwalk on Thursday before firefighters could finally contain it.
The promise to rebuild was a familiar refrain for many business owners, who recently rebuilt after Hurricane Sandy.
USA Today reports that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie echoed the sentiment. Christie assured, “We will rebuild. We’ll make new memories for our families because that’s what we do.”
The massive fire was fueled by wind and wood-based structures, allowing a small blaze to quickly grow into an inferno. The cost of repairing the boardwalk destroyed by the Seaside Heights fire could total $1.88 million.
The Wall Street Journal notes that the fire tested the resolve of residents and business owners in Seaside Heights and Seaside Park. Seaside Heights Police Chief Thomas Boyd commented after the fire was contained, “You know what? I’m waiting for either the frogs or the locusts to come.”
Boyd added, “The greatest challenge for our town is we’ve been devastated, we’ve been kicked down, we got back up and now we’re kicked down again.”
The area was a focal point for Hurricane Sandy’s destruction. The storm kicked up a wall of water eight feet high, destroying much of the iconic boardwalk. Businesses rebuilt and a roller coaster swept into the ocean was dismantled.
Instead of waterlogged businesses, Friday’s scene was one of charred buildings and smoldering wood. The governor stated that firefighters will continue to monitor the scene for the next few days to put out any hot spots in the rubble. Arson investigators are also on the scene, though officials said there was no reason to suspect foul play.
The fire originated near Kohr’s Frozen Custard around 2:19 pm ET. From there, it spread five blocks north to Lincoln Avenue, where 400 firefighters tore up the boardwalk and created a trench. Eight hours later, they confirmed the fire was contained.
It is unclear when rebuilding will begin.