Superstorm Sandy played a role in accidental boardwalk fire

Investigators have determined that the fire that destroyed four blocks of boardwalk in Seaside Heights and Seaside Park last week was an accident.

The fire involved electrical wires underneath Kohr’s Frozen Custard and Biscayne Candies stands on the Seaside Park area of the boardwalk, according to the Ocean County prosecutor’s office, which lead investigators from myriad state and local agencies.

“This wire could have failed on its own,” said Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato, noting the wiring was likely installed during the 1970s. “But certain this wire was affected by Sandy, meaning this wire came in contact with water and sand as a result of Sandy.”

Coronato said it’s not possible to determine whether the age of the wires or storm damaged led to the fire. Electrical work had been done on the building after the storm, but “all those meters perscribed to the regulations.”

However, the specific location where the fire started had not been inspected, because of location under the boardwalk and its inaccessibility. 

“Quite frankly you’d have to tear down the entire building to get to the wire,” he said.

His investigation concluded that no laws had been broken, though Coronato did offer advice to other storm-damaged businesses: “If you are a property owner and you believe your system came in contact with water and sand, the right thing to do is to have it inspected by the electric officials.”

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