UPDATE: Seaside Heights Fire 'Accidental,' According To Sources

The Ocean County Prosecutor's Office will hold a press conference Tuesday at 2 p.m.

Photo by Joseph Varneke
Photo by Joseph Varneke
Although officials from the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office would not confirm the reports, at least one media outlet is reporting that the fire in Seaside Park will be ruled "accidental."

A report by ABC News, citing two anonymous sources, notes the blaze was "not manmade," and "electrical."

A statement by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office, issued at 9:56 p.m. Monday night, meanwhile, reads: "Be advised the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office has not made any announcement regarding the investigative ruling on the fire.  The Prosecutor will release those findings only when finalized, and with all the investigating task force partners present."

The statement then notes, "media will be advised well in advance of any scheduled press conference," but makes no indication that any press conference had, as of yet, been scheduled.  A statement issued earlier this morning, however, notes a press conference has been scheduled for 2 p.m. today.

Earlier in the day yesterday, a steady stream of people trickled into the Seaside Heights Volunteer Fire Company on Sherman Avenue to seek help from Gov. Chris Christie's "mobile cabinet" that is reaching out to victims of last week's fire.

Christie met privately over the weekend with 30 of the more than 50 business owners who suffered losses in Thursday's fire, promising an aggressive response to haul away rubble from the fire and help again rebuild the boardwalk only just replaced after Superstorm Sandy.

The Thursday afternoon fire claimed between 30 and 50 businesses between the two towns, including two popular bars and what was left of Funtown Pier after Superstorm Sandy left it heavily damaged last year.

Martin September 17, 2013 at 07:06 AM
"A press conference is scheduled for this afternoon... the cause was likely ELECTRICAL" according to Asbury Park Press.
MB September 17, 2013 at 07:10 AM
Hahahaaaa!!!!! Who got paid off??
Mortimer Snerd September 17, 2013 at 07:23 AM
"A thorough investigation or one that suggested possible arson would have been embarrassing to the governor after a weekend of unabashed self-promotion and a decision to shamelessly divert $15M in dedicated storm recovery funds to rebuild a marginally viable commercial area that arguably should have been torn down in the first place. Don't hold your breath for a comprehensive report describing a stretch of largely unsafe buildings and other structures, a history of inadequate or non-existent fire safety inspections and a partially-restored water supply inadequate to properly contain the recent fire. Instead, culpable government officials and businesspersons will rush to "restore" a strip of largely honky-tonk bars and carny grab joints while the state continues to drag its feet disbursing targeted recovery assistance to individuals adversely affected by a storm almost eleven months ago." That Star-Ledger reader's comments say it all. Christie and the TR-Ocean County Chamber of Commerce value businesses more than people in need! Remember in November! He's the nation's most over-rated governor, indeed. 2
. September 17, 2013 at 07:30 AM
@Mortimer Snerd - How right you are! He is definitely the most over rated governor ever. What has this guy done, except make himself known nationwide? With so many people still homeless, why put so much emphasis on these businesses? It makes him look good to people in other states. He has swept the Sandy victims under the rug.
suz September 17, 2013 at 08:15 AM
Why would anyone think that the Governor would be embarrassed by the outcome??!!! I am sure he is just as anxious to find the cause of this fire. As far as the comment from the TR CCC, (if it is indeed true) the people who owned these businesses are in need also. What is your point? We need to rebuild to keep the economy going and (hopefully) bring back some revue to the area. I think you are trying to point out the fact that the boards need to be 'cleaned up' but your anger will only lead to the demise of the $$ this town depends on and people survive on too.
Arlene M. Baladi September 17, 2013 at 09:00 AM
If I were Governor Christie I would wait until hurricane season is over to re-build that boardwalk. Peace, Light and Love.
TR September 17, 2013 at 09:03 AM
Why don't you all just think about it for a minute and drop the "conspiracy theory" for just a minute. You do realize that all those old, spliced, dry rotted electrical cables were under water from Sandy right? A few months go by, all those Pizza ovens and Ice cream machines are running off of 20, 30, 50 year old 220 and 440 cables......I am surprised it took this long for them to short and create a fire..... I actually predicted it months ago! No one to blame but the owners of the boardwalk and tenants for not bringing everything up to code IMHO! Stop blaming Christy......
frank booth September 17, 2013 at 09:12 AM
Think of all the money King Gilmore can make - again! http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/02/christie_hurricane_sandy_ashbr.html
Hey gov you help businesses only let the secondary HOME OWNERS Investment in the community rot. Don't worry we will not be going to the boardwalk or our friends and relatives Cause We Got No Assistance but we should continue to pay taxes and vote for you so Businessmen can be made whole. Stop discriminating and be fair. Business without fire insurance is not my problem. They took the risk. I on the other hand have been paying paying and paying.
Guess what when the FEMA insurance rep came to my house he said electric looks fine to me only a licensed electrician can make the case for the fact that all my electrical cables need to be replaced even though under salt water for days. Fire fire everywhere. Fix FEMA and the non payment tactics used for real damage. Stop the 50,000 giveaways to help buy in flooded areas until you pay up the proper costs to rebuild. How about an extra 50,000 that needed to raise homes. 30,000 is a joke of a grant. Insulting
frank booth September 17, 2013 at 09:20 AM
Pay attention now. Watch who gets the contracts to remove and rebuild.
BN September 17, 2013 at 09:21 AM
Faulty electrical wiring that was rushed in order to complete the job in time for summer. (You know what happens when youmrushnion wokers, right?) Case closed. This was the crappy part of the boardwalk that was a tinderbox waiting to ignite. The homeless issue is a result of Corzine's failed policies.
frank booth September 17, 2013 at 09:27 AM
Ritacco was just an appetizer.
i don't get it?? September 17, 2013 at 10:11 AM
1ST...THE FIRE WAS NOT IN SEASIDE HEIGHTS. 2ND The governor is only in this for publicity...SHOCKER. 3RD Sandy $$ should NOT be given to business owners to make fire repairs however, if its money still owed to them from the storm so be it...but $15 million could put a lot of families back in their homes or in new homes that they have been waiting for for the past year.
frank booth September 17, 2013 at 10:15 AM
15 million for AshBritt.
grace September 17, 2013 at 10:44 AM
agree alot with suz and tr so ditto what they said...maybe who ever passed the inspection for the electrical work in seaside park should be held somewhat accountable.
proud September 17, 2013 at 10:58 AM
The Boardwalk? Pave it-- don't save it. Think sea wall.
Gerard L September 17, 2013 at 11:15 AM
"America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within." Josef Stalin 1879-1953 communist leader of USSR
Gerard L September 17, 2013 at 11:19 AM
Chief Wahoo September 17, 2013 at 11:37 AM
Gil MORE $$$$$$$$$$$
frank booth September 17, 2013 at 11:57 AM
Where did all the cigarettes from the 7-11 go?
sha September 17, 2013 at 12:13 PM
Salty ocean water from Sandy corroded wiring not replaced after the storm. As mentioned, eventually shorting out, sparking, igniting.
Spooner September 17, 2013 at 02:48 PM
At the 2PM news conference, the OC Prosecutor said the fire was caused by wiring that was submerged by Sandy. Owner apparently never hired contractor who would have used a device called a "megger". A megger would have indicated the insulation wire feeder resistance too ground and between phases. Then those readings could have been compared to manufacturers ratings in making a determination whether to have them replaced. It looked like from the photograph that the feeder cables were laid in a wooden trough and covered.
Mac September 17, 2013 at 03:10 PM
And the A-Team raps up another human injustice.
grace September 17, 2013 at 06:22 PM
frank not sure if the 7-11 will be opening back up after sandy. and with sandy being such a disaster i have no problem with firefighter volunteers taking anything they need to stay dry fed etc. you see what they do everytime there is an emergency. i know i am not brave enough to do it. especially while my own home was being destroyed during sandy and there they were saving lives of people who didnt evacuate. hours before on ch 62 news the same message was repeated" this will be our katrina please evacuate"
www.zazzle.com/kodachrome68* September 17, 2013 at 07:52 PM
http://www.zazzle.com/kodachrome68* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toMJSiqPnJQ
frank booth September 18, 2013 at 09:03 AM
Grace, are you accusing the firefighters of taking the cigarettes from the 7-11????
grace September 18, 2013 at 09:45 AM
ha ha frank i never mentioned cigarettes you just got me thinking thats all. i know lighters were taken to light candles and to see with, remember total blackout and darn scary night for many!!
frank booth September 18, 2013 at 10:22 AM
Who inspected the boardwalk once it was completed? Who declared the structure safe for use?
Mac September 18, 2013 at 10:49 AM
@frank booth - The same leadership that said the fire was accidental.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »