UPDATE: According to New York Daily News, Thursday's fire ravaged more than 80 percent of the boardwalk, destroying all 32 businesses and taking more than 400 firefighters hours to control the flames. "The fire appears to be under control," town administrator John Camera said late in the evening. "There'll be people stationed there probably for another day or more and they expect that there may be controlled burning."
Friday morning, Snooki tweeted, "Rip seaside boardwalk. So many of our favorite places gone...my heart is with everyone affected. Xoxo Beachcomber."
Tragedy has struck the Jersey Shore again. Just after the boardwalk recovered from Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath, a raging fire started at an ice cream store in Seaside Park, spreading to 19 other buildings.
Seaside Heights Police Chief Thomas Boyd told The Star-Ledger that around 2:30 p.m. ET, the blaze, which started from an unknown source, began at Kohr’s Ice Cream near the beloved boardwalk. It was then swept up by a strong southeast wind, and spread rapidly.
Firefighters have been battling flames for hours, with black smoke pouring out of all of the local shops. The boardwalk underwent major repairs earlier this year after Sandy’s destruction, and now the fire has undone it all. Officials are evacuating businesses, firemen are being pulled back due to the severity, and it reportedly “just keeps getting worse and worse.”
You can watch a video below (posted by the Jersey Shore Hurricane News on Facebook), and read on for the Jersey Shore cast’s reactions to the tragic news. Some of them still live nearby (including Snooki and Deena Nicole), while others aren’t close to the flames, but are sending out their thoughts and prayers from elsewhere.
“My prayers to seaside park can't catch a break....praying for the volunteers, fire department & residence,” Snooki wrote. Fiancé Jionni LaValle added, “Good luck to the Firefighters in seaside park!!!”
Stay tuned to Wetpaint for more on the tragic Seaside Park fire. Feel free to leave your own thoughts and prayers for Jersey Shore residents in the comments below.