Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

N.J. boardwalk fire linked to Sandy-damaged wiring

TOMS RIVER, N.J. — 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 saltwater 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.

Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato said the fire should be a cautionary tale.

"I'm sure on every boardwalk everywhere (at the Jersey Shore), there may be compromised wiring," he said. "We don't want to start a panic mode. We just want to be reasonable. If you're a property owner and you think your electrical work came in contact with water and sand, we strongly recommend you have it inspected."

Seaside Heights Mayor William Akers said there is no issue with potentially compromised wiring on the surviving sections of the boardwalk.

"We did a total rebuild. All 16 blocks got all new wiring," he said.

Investigators said the Seaside fire began in wiring that dated to the 1970s and was under a frozen custard stand and candy shop.

Jessica Gotthold, a senior special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said investigators located wires under the boardwalk that somehow came in contact with each other, causing an arc that is thought to have started the fire.

Coronato said the investigation ruled out all other possible causes of the fire. The wiring was inaccessible to the public, he noted.

The boardwalk fire on Thursday in Seaside Heights and Seaside Park, N.J., destroyed more than 50 businesses.

Associated Press

The boardwalk fire on Thursday in Seaside Heights and Seaside Park, N.J., destroyed more than 50 businesses.

N.J. boardwalk fire linked to Sandy-damaged wiring 09/17/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 11:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pinellas licensing board asks Sen. Jack Latvala for $500,000 loan

    Local Government

    The troubled Pinellas County agency that regulates contractors wants Sen. Jack Latvala to help it get a $500,000 lifeline from the state to stay afloat.

    State Sen . Jack Latvala, R- Clearwater, is being asked to help the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board get $500,000 from the state so it can stay open beyond February.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. FHP: 55-year-old pedestrian struck, killed by car in Largo

    Accidents

    LARGO — A 55-year-old St. Petersburg man died late Saturday after he walked into the path of a car on Ulmerton Road, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  3. Study offers warning for Florida strawberry farmers from global warming

    Agriculture

    LAKELAND — Florida strawberry growers already have experienced a dress rehearsal for the impacts of climate change during the past two seasons.

     Carl Grooms shows off some of his strawberries at Fancy Farms near Plant City Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015.  Grooms, President of Fancy Farms. [JAMES BORCHUCK  |  Times]
  4. Two Interstate 275 tractor-trailer crashes cause delays in Tampa

    Accidents

    TAMPA — Two tractor-trailers driving in opposite directions on Interstate 275 crashed Sunday within a mile of each other, causing lane closures on both sides for much of the morning.

    Two tractor-trailers going opposite directions on Interstate 275 in Tampa crashed Sunday morning, closing lanes on each side, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. [Florida Highway Patrol]
  5. Read Anthony Scaramucci's old tweets. You'll understand why he deleted them

    National

    New White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci hasn't always shared the political views of the administration he now serves.

    Anthony Scaramucci, incoming White House communications director, takes questions as he speaks in the briefing room at the White House on Friday. [ Washington Post photo by by Jabin Botsford]