SEA ISLE CITY, N.J. (CBS) – Two people are hurt after a massive structure fire erupted at a Sea Isle City community landmark. Black smoke billowed from a shed and fuel tank along the water at 371 43rd Place on Sunday.
“It was thick, the smoke was thick,” Michael Marino, a witness, said.
The two-alarm blaze charred a commercial boat and melted the side of a condo building. It happened near a popular Sea Isle City shop called Two Chums, a bait, tackle and boat rental shop, which remains open.
With assistance from the Ocean City, Seaville, Avalon, Strathmere and Ocean View fire departments and the Cape May County Fire Marshal’s Office, the fire was placed the under control around 1 p.m.
Some neighbors were in disbelief.
“It was scary, it was really scary,” Elizabeth Bewley, a neighbor, said. “Because you didn’t know if the wind would shift and other houses would get damaged, there are boats in the water there – lots of boats, so they could also catch on fire also.”
Two people were taken to a nearby hospital for minor injuries – one for smoke inhalation.
City officials say because of how close the condos and businesses are the outcome could have been much worse.
“We did see our fire volunteers respond very rapidly and get the situation under control,” Sea Isle City public information officer Katherine Custer said.
“We got here before the fire trucks, that’s how we wound up here,” Marino said.
It was a memorable Father’s Day for Phoenixville natives Marino and his daughter, Karlie.
They ate at a neighboring restaurant called Carmen’s Seafood Restaurant.
“It was completely black at one point you couldn’t see over the bridge because the smoke was so thick,” Karlie Marino said.
The Cape May County Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the exact cause.
Investigators were inside the shed, making sure there were no hazardous materials inside.
CBS3’s Chantee Lans reports.