UPDATE: Boardwalk Fire Contained, 50 Businesses Destroyed, Christie Queasy

UPDATE: CBS3 is reporting that the massive boardwalk fire has been contained, but that some 50 businesses have been destroyed, as the blaze was intensified by 30 mph winds.

Ocean County fire chief coordinator Brian Gabriel described the ordeal as “a wicked challenge.”

“It was moving sort of like a forest fire moves. It was moving very rapidly, very hot, carrying embers six, eight, 10 blocks away. We had spot fires so far out it was incredible.”

According to the Courier Post, the scenes of devastation made Gov. Chris Christie “want to throw up.”


NJ.com reports:

SEASIDE PARK — A raging fire inside an ice cream store in Seaside Park has spread to 19 other buildings along the popular boardwalk on the Jersey Shore, and evacuations are being ordered in nearby businesses, authorities said.

The blaze, which began at Kohr’s Ice Cream near the boardwalk, was swept up by a strong southeast wind and jumped to adjacent structures around 2:30 p.m., according to Seaside Heights Police Chief Thomas Boyd.

As of 4:30 p.m., firefighters were ordered to pull back because of the intensity of the flames, officials told The Star-Ledger.

ABC adds:

Workers at the Casino Pier, in that area, are hosing down the boardwalk and their rides to keep the fire from spreading, according to Seaside Park Police Chief Francis Larkin.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Kohr’s is located on a boardwalk that was rebuilt following extensive damage from Sandy.

This is also the same area where a roller coaster that was pushed into the ocean during Sandy became an enduring image of the storm.