Christie Plans $15M in Aid After Boardwalk Fire

By ANGELA DELLI SANTI
|  Friday, Jan 17, 2014  |  Updated 6:10 PM EDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
No Cause for Boardwalk Fire

Such a tragedy MT “@NBCPhiladelphia: PHOTOS: Seaside Park engulfed in flames: http://t.co/Q402Ji5RT4 Such a tragedy MT “@NBCPhiladelphia: PHOTOS: Seaside Park engulfed in flames: http://t.co/Q402Ji5RT4 | http://t.co/2IO3k2G0MA”

advertisement

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pledged $15 million in state aid Saturday for businesses damaged by a massive boardwalk fire in a shore community just getting back on its feet after Superstorm Sandy.

Christie met privately with 30 of the more than 50 business owners who suffered losses in Thursday's fire in Seaside Park and Seaside Heights, promising an aggressive response to haul away rubble from the fire and help them rebuild again.

"We had two days to feel sad about this, and it is legitimately a sad thing. But we've got work to do now. A couple days to mourn, now we've got to move on and get back to work,'' Christie said.

Photos and Videos

No Cause for Boardwalk Fire

Less than two days since a massive fire devastated the Jersey Shore boardwalk, investigators are still trying to find a cause. NBC10's Matt DeLucia has the details.
More Photos and Videos

Christie's office said the New Jersey Economic Development Authority board plans to extend an initial $15 million from programs offered to help in the recovery from Sandy. Those funds would be made available whether or not the fire-damaged businesses were affected by Sandy, according to the Christie administration.

"It was critical that we move quickly to aid the Seaside business community, which was still struggling to recover from Superstorm Sandy,'' said Michele Brown, CEO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, which is expected to formally take action at a meeting Wednesday.

The wind-whipped fire destroyed dozens of ocean-front businesses, including bars, pizza places and T-shirt shops and shot flames 50 feet into the air. Public works crews had to rip up part of the boardwalk to create a makeshift fire break, robbing the advancing flames of fuel. The crews piled sand in the breech creating dunes to hold back fire rather than water.

During his visit Saturday, Christie also greeted residents, many of whom thanked the governor for coming to the shore town that was still recovering from Sandy when disaster struck again.

"I wouldn't be anyplace else,'' Christie said, having canceled a weekend getaway to Florida to celebrate his wife's birthday. "When a crisis happens you have to be here to help organize things, to lend encouragement and deliver help.''

The good news, if there is any, Christie said, is that the fire was contained before it engulfed the entire boardwalk.

Related Stories

"This could have been significantly worse. We have about four blocks that were taken out, and for those people on those four blocks, it's awful. But, we could have lost all of this,'' he said, gesturing to a portion of the boardwalk untouched by the flames.

 

More Stories on NBC10.com:

You Can't Keep Seaside Down

Fire Also Devastated Boardwalk Nearly 60 Years Ago

Driver Beaten to Death With Baseball Bat

 


Get the latest from NBC10 Philadelphia anytime: Android/iPhone/iPad Apps | SMS Alerts | Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | Instagram | RSS

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
Free Weather Apps!
Download NBC10's free weather apps here! Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out