Christie declares state of emergency as fire tears through Jersey Shore boardwalk
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) declared a state of emergency on Thursday while fire crews work to contain a blaze that has ravaged a section of the boardwalk along the New Jersey Shore.
WCBS-TV reported that 400 firefighters have been deployed to fight the fire, which spread from underneath a frozen custard stand to the Seaside Heights area and became a six-alarm fire within two hours, tearing through a landmark recently restored from damage suffered as a result of Hurricane Sandy.
“I feel like I want to throw up,” WCBS quoted Christie as saying. “After all the effort and time and resources that we’ve put in to help the folks of Seaside Park and Seaside Heights rebuild, it’s just unthinkable.”
Witnesses told WCBS that they saw electrical wires under the boardwalk catch on fire, eventually burning through the custard stand and spreading into the surrounding area, buoyed by strong winds. According to Christie, 20 businesses in a six-block radius have been destroyed by the fire.
“We had to deal with Sandy last year and now this happens,” one resident told WABC-TV. ” We can’t catch a break.”
Watch a report on the fire, aired on WCBS on Thursday, below.
Update, 9:40 p.m. EST: The New York Times reported that the fire was contained Thursday night, as 400 firefighters from 30 towns in the region were called in. Some firefighters were treated for smoke inhalation, but no injuries have been reported. Officials have not confirmed a cause for the fire.