By Cleve Bryan
ATLANTIC CITY (CBS)-– Findings that wires damaged during Super Storm Sandy are being blamed for igniting the Seaside Park and Seaside Heights Boardwalks fire are sending a shock wave through shore communities.
Since hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses were damaged during Sandy some public safety officials are worried many compromised wires are fire hazards ready to start another disaster.
“I think with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office bringing this to light we have to act on this now,” says Chief Dennis Brooks from the Atlantic City Fire Department.
Brooks believes that several electrical fires in Atlantic City since Sandy can be attributed to the storm. He says inspections were done on many buildings before they could have power restored but the problem may be even bigger than initially feared.
“Maybe we should give a re-inspection in some of our buildings and properties – especially when we know they were submerged in water,” says Brooks.
On Wednesday, Governor Chris Christie addressed the latest Sandy challenge saying, “I think municipalities who have responsibility for this are now going to have to figure out how to deal with it.”
Brooks offered two plans of action for Atlantic City and other shore communities: outreach and targeted inspections.
He says municipalities should concentrate on making sure all homes and businesses have electrical inspections in areas known to have flooded during Sandy.
He also plans to do public service announcements on the radio and at city council meetings to get the word out to private home owners.
“You have to have this wiring looked at by a licensed professional – they know what they are looking at and they can tell you right away,” says Brooks.