A massive fire broke out in Seaside Park, N.J., on Thursday and destroyed several blocks of the boardwalk. After completely rebuilding the seaside following the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, citizens and business owners are forced to rebuild yet again.
The fire began around 2 p.m., but firefighters didn’t gain control of the blaze until 11 p.m. Firefighters made the decision to dig a trench into the boardwalk starting at Lincoln Avenue. According to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, without that trench the entire boardwalk could have gone up in flames. Four hundred firefighters were on the scene and several suffered minor injuries, according to the Huffington Post. The cause of the fire is still unknown.
Gov. Christie arrived at the scene of the fire Thursday night to address the situation.
“I will not permit all the work we’ve done over the last 10 months to be diminished or destroyed by what happened last night,” Christie said.
Many University of Tampa students come from the New Jersey area and are in disbelief that a significant part of their home has been destroyed a second time.
Freshman and biochemistry major, Rachel Christ, said,“I’ve lived in Jersey my whole life. I’ve gone on vacations along the shore for years and it’s such a shame to see such a beautiful place be destroyed all over again by this freak accident.”
Freshman Jackie Hirshan, a psychology major and New Jersey native, went into detail about how she felt the government and citizens were doing when it came to restoring the boardwalk for the second time.
“It is very traumatic and strange to see how quickly something can be ruined, but I am very happy to see our government and citizens working as one,” Hirshan said. “If we can overcome it once, we can do it again.”
Still recovering from the stress and trauma caused by Hurricane Sandy, some New Jersey residents now find themselves displaced and in need of emotional support just one year later. The Christie administration has provided residents and business owners grief counselors to help them deal with the situation, according to NBC News Online.
“It is devastating to me that yet again more time and money and labor needs to be utilized to rebuild a great place after another catastrophe. My prayers and best wishes go out to everyone from the area,” Christ said.
Despite this tragedy, the Christie administration, residents and business owners are banding together once again to rebuild the boardwalk. Christie plans to give $15 million in state aid to the businesses that were damaged in the fire to rebuild, according to NBC New York.
Khadijah Khan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org