Seaside Park (Jersey Shore) Is Burning

The entire pier was not destroyed by Sandy. It’s gone now.

The fire trucks could park on a paved road practically next to Barnegat Bay (which is an arm of the ocean, with very little freshwater inflow; salty, not brackish). To draw from the ocean, they would have to park on the sand, near the waves and downwind of the fire. And they’d have to pump pretty much uphill, instead of across flat land.
There were several blocks of boardwalk-y stuff (amusements) south of Funtown Pier that Sandy washed away. The boardwalk itself, as a walkway, goes all the way to 14th Ave (the border with South Seaside Park).

(And north to Hiering Ave, the border with Ortley Beach, for that matter.)
I’ve been following this at the site of the Asbury Park Press (newspaper):

They are now reporting:

“Three Kohr’s, Maruca’s Pizza, Jack & Bills, Carousel Arcade among the buildings badly damaged or destroyed in the fire. The Beachcomber and Sawmill damaged.”

The northernmost of those three Kohr’s would be the one where I worked as a kid (assuming the same five locations).

The Carousel (aka Freeman) Arcade was also destroyed in a fire in the early-to-mid fifties, taking out the carousel that my parents grew up riding. The one my sisters, cousins, and I grew up riding was broken up and sold off in the (eighties?), prompting the preservation effort for the Casino Pier carousel, which was badly damaged by Sandy.

The Sawmill came along in maybe the last thirty or forty years, but Maruca’s, Jack & Bill’s, and the Beachcomber are barely post-WWII, if that young.
Snooki is sacrificing herself on* Dancing with the Stars*, which starts Monday and has a thread over on Cafe Society.

I’ve been watchijng this and getting updates from friends and relatives. It appears that Funtown Pier and the adjacent Boardwalk is essentially gone. They’ve bulldozed away part of the boardwalk apparently to make a firebreak, but reportedly six blocks are on fire.

It’s too damned bad. A lot of this survived Sandy and was being rebuilt. I’d been back befiore the summer and visited many of the businesses in that area. I think the little carousel even survived. The fiberglass T Rex on Funtown Pier was still therre, and the Tower of Terror and the Giant Swing, rooted on their own concrete footings, seemed to have survived. Now it appears it’s all a loss. And undoubtedly The Sawmill is gone. MilliCal always wanted to eat there.

It doesn’t seem to be true that “the whole boardwalk is gone” – there’s plenty of Boardwalk to the north that will (I hope)_ be saved. Casino pier may be gone, but the attractions in that area, including the Floyd Moreland Carousel (where we had our wedding photos taken) ought to still be there. And the Jersey Shore house and the MTV Beachouse are all well north of the fire.

Rachel Maddow just said that it all started when an ice cream stand on the boardwalk caught fire, then about 30 seconds later she said the cause was still unknown. :confused: (I’m guessing someone in her ear told her that the ice cream stand story was unconfirmed? Or maybe it was that the cause of the ice cream stand fire was unknown??)

Somebody didn’t pay the “protection” fee.

Maruca’s pizza was amazing. :frowning:

First Union Jacks.

Then both wooden horse carousels and the kids arcades attached to them.

Now… Maruca’s… :frowning:

The Carousel on Funtown Pier is probably gone. As I observed above, the Floyd Moreland Carousel opposite what’s left of Casino pier is far from the fire (at least as I last saw it), and is probably still undamaged.

The carousel on Funtown Pier, by the way, didn’t have wooden horses. The old carousel was replaced by one with fiberglas horses ages ago. Its loss is not as much of a tragedy as the Moreland Carousel would be – that opne’s original wooden horses, and over a century old.

The way I keep seeing it written is “80% of the boardwalk in town is destroyed”, which is technically true – 80% of the boardwalk in Seaside Park has been destroyed. Which means there’s still nearly a mile of boardwalk in Seaside Heights that remains unscathed.

I have’t heard anyone make that fine distinction.

But it’s not true, in any case – from what I’ve seen, there’s no damage to the Boardwalk south of Funtown Pier into Seaside Park – and there’s a LOT of Boardwalk down that way. But there doesn’t seem to be any damage to the Boardwalk north of the six blocks or so that’s on fire into Seaside Heights. That’s where they tore up the Boardwalk with a firebreak.

In any case, the boardwalk continues unbroken from one town to the next.

Current reports say the fire is under control and “70% contained” The rains that came in certainly helped.

If you read the article I’ve linked and compare it to a map of Seaside that includes the Boardwalk (such as Google Maps), you can see that there’s no damage reported north of about Franklin Avenue. The firebreak was at Lincoln and apparently the fire leapt over one but was restrained by another . That leaves over a dozen blocks of boardwalk north of the fire in Seaside Park undamaged, including everything around Casino Pier. And that mile or so in Seaside Heights south of Funtown pier. At least six blocks appear to be heavily damaged, but there’s no way that 80% of the Boardwalk in either community has been destroyed.

Interestinbg thing, by the way, and I don’t know if it’s at all relevant:

A lot of the “boards” in the Seaside Park boardwalk had been replaced by non-wood boards made of Polyethylterephthalate (PET), the same plastic used in water and soda bottles. It’s grayish and doesn’t require any preservatives, and it doesn’t burn easily. It also takes “carving” easily, so the mile markers were incised into these PET “boards”.

I noticed the last time I visited that they were rebuilding the boardwalk just south of Funtown Pier , replacing the PET boards with the traditional wooden ones, and I wondered to a friend why they would be doing this – THAT portion of the boardwalk hadn’t been damaged at all. His suspicion was that a lot of people didn’t like the way PET “boards” got hot in the summer sun and retained that heat better than wooden oards. So, even though the PET would have ;lastred longer, it was being replaced.

On the other hand, there doesn’t seem to be any damage south of Funtown pier, and the portions of the Boardwalk that have gone up in flames never were replaced by PET boards. But large chunks of the washed-away boardwalk between Funtown and Casino piers were replaced this past summer, and they used wooden boards.
If they had replaced the boards with PET ones, they might not have had to worry about the fire spreading nortward, because PET doesn’t support flame, even in thin pieces ( ) On the other hand, under high temperature it might possibly have caught, and if it did there might have been fumes to worry about. But I suspect a PET boardwalk would make an effective flame barrier.

I knew that “Stronger than the Storm” commercial was so overplayed that it became an affront to GOD. (or inspiration to an arsonist)

The morning reports are that the firebreak apparently has worked, and the fire hasn;t spread father north. Despite this, the rain, and the fireworkers, there’s still burning, I hear. There haven’t been any serious injuries reported.
It could’ve been worse.
But that’s a big concentrated chunk of Boardwalk to be torched. About six blocks long, and the boardwalk in the region between the pier and Ocean wasn’t a single strip – it was a warren of passages, with two separate pieces of boardwalk parallelling the ocean, and “alleys” perpendicular to the shore, hemmed in by the Funtown Pier. Lots of games and concessions, beach stores,candy stores, seafood stands, Brothers and Maruca’s pizza, a fortune teller, two arcades, restaurants amnd bars, what remained of FunTown pier (which was on its way to being restored). And I find it hard to believe that The Sawmill survived, though I haven’t seen the pictures.
A lot of memories went up. Pepper Mill, who grew up in Seaside, said “My childhood is burning”.

Cal, based on your description of the wood and PET boards and the qualities of each it sure sounds like when they rebuild what they might consider is using the cooler wood for short stretches, say 20 yards or so and then putting in a short strip of PET board for the next couple of yards to act as a fire break. An 80/20 or 90/10 mix should retain the historic look and feel of the boardwalk while providing an aesthetic means to limit or at least retard any future conflagration.

There’s always money in the [del]banana[/del] ice cream stand!

Not any more. The Kohr’s stand is where the fire started.
Nobody’s been Arrested.

I’ll have to stay tuned to future Developments.

It was common in the nineteenth century to have fires which destroyed large portions of business districts, for example the Great Chicago fire of 1871.

But since then cities have mandated fire safety codes which have mostly eliminated such widespread urban fires.

Was this area negligent in this regard?

I just read on about a very fortunate coincidence. There was a firefighter’s convention in Wildwood about 90 miles away, and they sent 400 additional firefighters to the scene.

Have any people been hurt or killed in this?