Homes burn near Sandy-damaged oceanfront in Manasquan, NJ

Manasquan, N.J. fire
December 5, 2012 3:39:20 PM PST
A group of homes near the beach in Manasquan, N.J. survived Sandy, but not the roaring fire that tore through here early Wednesday morning.

The blaze started in a bungalow on First Street and completely destroyed two houses and damaged at least five others. The cause is not yet known.

"One of the things that obviously is playing into the investigation," said Manasquan Fire Department Chief Mike Galos, "is what current status this house had as far as electric, gas renovations, etc."

"I can't believe it," said Monica Anderson of Berwyn, Pa. "I heard the sirens this morning at 5:30 and I just wanted to cry."

Neighbor Mike Parziale's house burned down in 1996. This morning, he grabbed a fire hose to help extinguish flying embers.

"I was hosing down the houses three doors away from us as much as I could," he said. "The police saw me. They said, 'Hunker down!' and I hunkered down for safety and just kept hosing for like an hour, hour and a half."

This part of Manasquan was severely damaged by Sandy and just opened up to homeowners Monday. It's a heartbreaker to many. These houses survived the storm, only to be claimed by fire.

"Terrible," said neighbor Cathy Siegel. "They just went through such devastation and now this."

"They made it through Sandy and now they're dealing with this," said neighbor Allyson Aiello. "It's awful. Awful. The cleanup has been a lot of work for everybody, and to do this now it's heartbreaking."

No one was injured and several agencies are now looking into the cause of this devastating fire.


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