By James Queally and Mark Mueller
Daylight revealed the panorama of devastation.
Along a four-block stretch of boardwalk in one of New Jersey’s most popular summer playgrounds, almost nothing remained intact.
The fire that roared through Seaside Park and Seaside Heights for nearly nine hours Thursday consumed restaurants and bars, clothing shops and arcades, candy stores and shacks sporting games of chance.
Metal girders buckled. Walls caved in. T-shirts, boogie boards and boardwalk prizes — the stuff of a Jersey Shore summer — turned to ash.
“This was a killer,” Angie Lombardi, the owner of two Seaside Park amusement stands, said after surveying the damage. “Everything’s gone.”
Read the full story at NJ.com (Sept. 14, 2013)
Anatomy of a tragedy: Wires damaged by Sandy ignited boardwalk blaze
By Erin O’Neill and Mark Mueller
The danger lurked beneath the boardwalk all along.
Decades-old electrical lines snaked under the weathered wooden planks in Seaside Park. Nearly 11 months ago, as Hurricane Sandy battered the Shore, those lines were compromised by corrosive seawater and sand.
Today, Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato said one or both elements — age and raging ocean — caused an electrical malfunction that sparked last week’s spectacular blaze in Seaside Park and Seaside Heights.
Read the story at NJ.com (Sept. 17, 2013)