While Boardwalk Cleanup Continues, Christie Looks Ahead
"How much more are people going to be expected to take?"
Governor Chris Christie stood before the wreckage and blackened businesses in Seaside as he addressed the media and a few spectators.
"While today the most important part of the job is done, and that is the containment of the fire, it is not finished," he said. "The team on the ground is tackling this one step at a time to ensure that this site is secured and safe."
Christie says that although the fire is mostly contained, it could take days to put out the smoldering embers and make the area completely safe for business owners and other agents to go in and inspect the damage.
There remain no certainties about the cause of the fire, which investigators believe was sparked in a small frozen custard shop. Officials blame high winds and weather conditions for the rapid spread of the fire. The investigation is ongoing.
"I know there are a lot of questions about how this fire got started," Christie said. "We don't know yet, and it would be irresponsible for any of us to speculate. We need to let the fire investigation team do their job."
The fire entered and wrekced between 30 and 40 commercial buildings in Seaside Park and Seaside Heights. The newly renovated boardwalk, completed only five months ago, was also heavily damaged in the fire.
"We have endured and begun to come back from the devastation of Sandy. We will not let these fires destroy those efforts. The state of NJ will stand with the local governments and the business owners to restart the rebuilding as soon as possible."
Christie thanked the firefighters from across the county and other parts of New Jersey for their efforts, as well as local volunteers.