Under mostly sunny skies, the massive Seaside boardwalk fire continues to smolder about an hour after sunrise. White smoke is blowing out to sea, and there is a distinct smell of burnt wood here just south of Funtown Pier. Surfers are enjoying clean waves hundreds of feet from the fire zone.
Firefighters continue to hit hot spots within the charred buildings along the boardwalk. During the height of the fire, over 400 firefighters were on the scene.
[Click here for ongoing updates from Jersey Shore Hurricane News, NewsWorks, and other media organizations. Visit Jersey Shore Hurricane News for yesterday’s real-time coverage of the fire, spanning from moments after the blaze began until the fire was deemed under control before midnight.]
The cause of the blaze that began at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday and raged out of control for hours before being declared under control before midnight remains unknown at this time, but detectives are on the scene, ready to access the remnants.
Authorities say that nearly 50 businesses suffered damage or were destroyed. Many are within the Seaside Park portion of the boardwalk.
Numerous firefighters were treated for smoke inhalation, officials say. There were no fatalities.
Governor Chris Christie is slated to speak at a 10:30 a.m. press conference near the boardwalk in Seaside Park.