Long Branch, NJ Boardwalk Fire, June 1987


Long Branch, N.J. (AP) -- A wind whipped fire on this oceanside resort's boardwalk that shot flames 100 feet into the air destroyed a popular amusement attraction, a fishing pier and several stores Monday and caused $2 million to $8 million in damages, authorities said.
Nine people, including four firefighters and a police officer, suffered minor injuries such as smoke inhalation and were treated at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, said hospital spokeswoman JANE HOLLANDER.
"This is going to have a severe economic impact on our area," Mayor PHILIP HUHN said of the 3 p.m. fire on the northern part of the boardwalk about a block from Kid's World amusement park. "The amusement park alone hires 150 to 300 kids for the summer."
Winds of up to 25 mph hampered efforts to contain the fire that spread quickly before being contained about 5 p.m., firefighters said.
"All the pier is gone," said fire Chief STANLEY DZIUBA, refusing to speculate on what caused the blaze.
Officials originally had said a quarter-mile section of the boardwalk was destroyed but later scaled back the estimate.
Firefighters from the community of 32,600 people nine miles north of Asbury Park were to remain at the scene all night to control the blaze, and investigators planned to arrive at 10 a.m. today with cranes to remove the debris and try to find the source.

The Daily Intelligencer Doylestown Pennsylvania 1987-06-09