If you dissect the population of South Florida, you won't be surprised to find that many of us started out in the New York/New Jersey area.
Which is why the fire that ravaged the Seaside Park Boardwalk is hitting so close to home for us.
According to NJ.com, the inferno began about 2:05 p.m. last Thursday at Kohr's Ice Cream near the boardwalk. Seaside Heights police chief Thomas Boyd said that a strong southeast wind fueled the flames, and the fire jumped to adjacent structures around 2:30 p.m. The iconic ice cream stand has been serving frozen custard to beachgoers for nearly a century. Kohr's, of course, has since expanded to several states including Florida, with custard stands at Sawgrass Mills Mall and in Key West under the Kohr Brothers moniker.
The fire burned for about five hours, with about 400 firefighters from neighboring towns battling the blaze.
The New York Times reports that the Funtown Pier "collapsed in flames" and a historic carousel was ruined. In a news conference, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said that about 20 businesses were almost completely destroyed.
What's even more devastating, is the fact that the Jersey Shore and its kitschy seaside attractions and amusements were just rebounding from the wake of Hurricane Sandy, which left much of the area's boardwalks beaten and broken and the beaches ruined.
On Saturday, Governor Christie announced an initial $15 million in aid to local businesses that were damaged in the fire. "Getting financial assistance to fire-damaged businesses is a critical step to Seaside's economic recovery, and we're acting quickly to make that happen," Christie said in a statement.
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