Nearly a year after Hurricane Sandy devastated the Jersey Shore, a boardwalk that was just rebuilt was ravaged by fire on Thursday, as flames that began in an ice cream shop quickly engulfed businesses along a stretch of beach in two towns.
Flames and black plumes of smoke shot high above the Boardwalk in Seaside Park, where the fire began around 2:30 p.m. Within hours, strong gusts of wind swept the fire north along the adjoining Boardwalk of Seaside Heights, where a roller coaster that had sat mangled in the ocean for months became a symbol of the storm’s damage.
Funtown Pier, nearly destroyed by the hurricane, collapsed in flames, and nearby, the fire appeared to have ruined a historic carousel that had been painstakingly restored and reopened just months ago. In all, about 20 businesses over a six-block stretch were almost completely destroyed, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey said at a news conference.