Yesterday afternoon, the Jersey Shore was hit by a massive, 10-alarm fire that destroyed dozens of businesses along a seven-block stretch of Seaside Park and Seaside Heights. The area affected was just recently reconstructed after Hurricane Sandy, and now, it's again gone. It should go without saying that this really, really sucks.
"I feel like I want to throw up," Chris Christie said at a press conference yesterday. "After all the effort and time and resources that we put in to help the folks in Seaside Park and Seaside Heights rebuild, to see this going on...is just unthinkable."
The fire began on the boardwalk near the famous Kohr’s Frozen Custard in Seaside Park. Thanks to an unusually windy day and tar roofs that contain petroleum byproducts, the fire quickly spread north, soon growing out of control. Around 500 firefighters—many of whom were treated for smoke inhalation afterward—were forced to battle the blaze as if it were a forest fire. Still, it took six hours to contain. By that point, nearly 50 businesses were destroyed and much of the boardwalk was ruined.
Making matters more surreal: One of the first people to notice the fire was a Star-Ledger photographer named Christine Pallas, who was on the scene to cover recovery efforts from the storm. A local carpenter, Leonardo Graci, said it best. "I just got done rebuilding this. I’m in shock. This was my proudest moment as a carpenter.”