OCEAN CITY, N.J. (CBS) — Officials and business owners in Ocean City, New Jersey, are surveying the devastation. A fire ripped through the boardwalk and Playland’s Castaway Cove, charring the iconic summer getaway.
Video from an apartment across the street from an engulfed Playland’s Castaway Cove as a neighbor who wished not to be identified watch in horror.READ MORE: Ocean County Man Kevin Noonan Picking Up Furniture Hits, Kills Man, Then Flees, Authorities Say
Firefighters worked for hours to control the flames and hot spots.
“I was surprised how hot it was too,” the neighbor said. “We went outside and felt the heat from the flames. Scary cause a lot of black smoke, a whole lot of black smoke, and then all of a sudden you see the flames coming out and burning the ship.”
The signature pirate ship that sits atop the popular Ocean City amusement park is now almost unrecognizable. Its mast, charred.
— Jan Carabeo (@JanCarabeoCBS3) January 30, 2021
Ocean City NJ: Structure Fire on the Boardwalk near Double Shot Amusement Park. OCFD with several mutual aid fire crews are on scene working BeAlert. pic.twitter.com/e4nh8Wo8am
— First Responder 🚨 🚨 (@911__ICE) January 30, 2021
“A lot of that fell down inside the building itself,” Ocean County Councilmember Jody Levchuk said, “so there’s significant damage. I mean, it’s a complete redo.”
Officials say the four-alarm fire began around 7:40 a.m. Saturday and required eight fire companies, including Ocean City’s. The fire completely gutted the entire arcade area and several kid rides, according to fire officials, before eventually spreading to two attached businesses.
A large crowd has gathered on the boards and the beach to watch. Here’s the front. Police say no evacuations of nearby apartments. pic.twitter.com/NEmRSFyt0E
— Dan Koob (@DanKoob) January 30, 2021READ MORE: COVID In Philadelphia: FEMA-Run Pennsylvania Convention Center Vaccination Site Extended For Additional 4 Weeks
A viewer captured the firefight from his drone out over the Atlantic Ocean.
Hailey Walker, a Castaway Cove employee and ride operator during the summer, could only watch from the ground.
“I saw it online and I knew I had to come drive here and check it out,” Walker said. “It’s really sad. Castaway Cove brings a lot of happiness to a lot of people and it’s a landmark here.”
From #OCNJ: 4 alarm fire spread to Playland’s Castaway Cove arcade and offices, Hamburger Construction Company and Dairy Queen. No injuries. Extensive damage to buildings but at this point they don’t believe there’s structural damage to the boardwalk. Cause under investigation
— Dan Koob (@DanKoob) January 30, 2021
The owners of Castaway Cove released a statement on Facebook, saying, in part, “We struggle to comprehend this morning’s events and what will be of the next few months, but we can assure you this, we will rebuild.”
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. No one was injured.
“It is the goal of the owners of the amusement park here, all of the employees as well as the surrounding businesses to do everything that we need to do to make sure this is rebuilt as good as possible,” Levchuk said.
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