N.J. boardwalk fire not considered suspicious

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NEW JERSEY — An investigation has ruled out human involvement in the fire that consumed New Jersey’s boardwalk last week, and the most likely cause is an electric wiring problem.

The New Jersey boardwalk had been freshly rebuilt after Superstorm Sandy wrecked it last October.

Hundreds of firefighters worked for nine hours before getting the fire under control Thursday night.

Dozens of businesses were destroyed.

Officials earlier noted that other structures were damaged when winds carried embers from a frozen custard shop, where they believe the fire started, up the boardwalk to a condominium complex, pier and an arcade, city and county officials said.

There was a firefighter convention in Wildwood, 90 miles south, at the time, so roughly 400 firefighters from 30 towns — many of them volunteer units — responded, Seaside Heights Mayor Bill Akers said Friday.

Had they not been nearby, the damage could have extended beyond six blocks of boardwalk in Seaside Park and two blocks in Seaside Heights, he said, estimating that reconstruction costs will reach the millions.

The Seaside Heights boardwalk was in the public eye shortly after Superstorm Sandy blew its famous Jet Star roller coaster into the water last year. The coaster was removed from the ocean in May, shortly before the boardwalk reopened for business.

Town officials plan to meet with business owners and help them rebuild, said Seaside Park Town Administrator Robert Martucci.

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