Major Fire Raging on the Ocean City Boardwalk Today
A major fire has broken out on the Ocean City Boardwalk this morning.
The fire, reportedly began in the area of Castaway Cove. It has drawn firefighters and emergency crews from around the area.
Crews are battling not only the fire, but bitterly cold temperatures in the mid-20s.
People are being asked to avoid the area if possible.
Smoke can be seen rising up from Ocean City for miles up the coast.
A statement has been posted on the Playland Castaway Cove facebook page:
Here's a statement from Doug Bergen, Public Information Officer for the City of Ocean City:
The Ocean City Fire Department responded to a reported smoke alarm on the 1000 block of the Ocean City Boardwalk at 7:40 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 30. Upon arrival, firefighters initiated a full response as a fire quickly advanced through a structure that includes the Playland’s Castaway Cove arcade and offices, Hamburger Construction Company and Dairy Queen.
All Ocean City fire, police and public works units were on recall as a three-block perimeter was established to fight the fire. The Marmora Volunteer Fire Department, Longport Volunteer Fire Department, Margate Fire Department, Somers Point Fire Department, Tuckahoe Volunteer Fire Company, Seaville Volunteer Fire Company and Strathmere Volunteer Fire Company provided mutual aid, along with police units from Sea Isle City, Egg Harbor Township, Longport, Linwood and Northfield, rescue squads from AtlantiCare and Upper Township, and the Cape May County Regional Urban Search Team (RUST).
As of late Saturday morning, the fire was under control, but firefighters remained on the scene working to fully extinguish the blaze. A west wind fueled the fire but likely spared neighboring buildings. Required structural firewalls between properties also worked effectively.
There were no occupants in the building at the time, and there were no reported fire-related injuries. Responders will be assessed for any injuries related to the extreme cold.
The building suffered extensive damage. There does not appear to be structural damage to the boardwalk, but this will be subject to further inspection. Full access to this block of the boardwalk will be restored only as conditions allow, and people are encouraged to avoid this area until the response is over.
The cause of the fire is unknown at this time and remains under investigation.
Here was my view of going over the Somers Point Ocean City Bridge at about 8:45am.
Our meteorologist Dan Zarrow notes that at times, the smoke has been visible on weather radar:
We will be continuously adding photos to this story, so please check back for updates.
Photo from Ventnor this morning:
11am Photo from Ocean City Webcam: