We told you yesterday that the Seaside fire was probably an electrical accident, but it turns out the truth is more complex—and infinitely sadder—than that. Yes, the fire was sparked by faulty electrical wiring. The problem: the wiring was damaged and never fixed after Hurricane Sandy.
That’s right: Nearly a year later, Sandy is still beating up on the Jersey Shore.
The massive fire that destroyed part of a Jersey shore boardwalk and dozens of businesses began accidentally in wiring damaged in Superstorm Sandy, and should prompt coastal property owners to get their own equipment inspected for similar danger, officials said Tuesday.
The boardwalk fire in Seaside Park and Seaside Heights started Thursday in aged wiring that had been compromised by salt water and sand during the Oct. 29 storm, federal and county investigators said at a news conference. The wind-whipped blaze destroyed more than 50 businesses in the two towns.
The wires were never inspected after Sandy, which Ocean County prosecutor Joseph Coronato noted wasn’t smart. However, he refused to assign blame. “Quite honestly, it’s inaccessible,” he explained. “You’d have to tear down the entire building to get to the wire so I think that you’re going to have to put some reason to the conclusion here.” Plus, the wiring had been in place since the seventies and Coronato said it it “could have failed on its own.”