Business owners get look at burned Seaside Park boardwalk

SEASIDE PARK, N.J. - September 19, 2013

"It reminds me of war time in Germany," said Inge Baum of Toms River.

"It's just so sad to see all this destruction," said Carmella Vanlew of Toms River. "My two girls were buying things here the Saturday prior and to see that it's all gone now..."

Investigators are still studying the fire scene and debriefing with business owners.

The blaze began in wiring below the boardwalk that was damaged by sand and water during Hurricane Sandy last October.

Governor Chris Christie said $15 million in disaster aid from Sandy is being set aside to help businesses recover.

"None of the money that will be spent in Seaside Park or Seaside Heights comes out of money that would have been spent to help people get back in their homes," Christie said.

Seaside Park's business administrator, Bob Martucci, says bids will go out next week to demolish what's left and remove the debris. Then, a temporary dune will be built where the buildings and Funtown Pier once stood to protect the area from storms and flooding.

"To create protection for a season that we know could be pretty terrifying," Martucci said.

Only two boardwalk businesses survived in the fire zone - The Sawmill Bar, which has exterior sprinklers, and the Funtown Arcade.

Officials say they burned out boardwalk should be cleared away in a month.

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