New Jersey

Boardwalk Fire Destroys Parts of Recently Rebuilt Jersey Shore

Seaside Heights

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Had a bully of a storm not cold-cocked this mythic corner of the Jersey Shore just 319 days ago, the breathtaking fire that chewed up a chunk of the boardwalk through Seaside Park and Seaside Heights Thursday would still have been disastrous.

But the timing and context of it gave this fire an extra, emotional dimension for those who witnessed it, whether at the scene, on TV or over the Internet. The Jet Star coaster may have been removed months ago, but the trauma of superstorm Sandy still lingers. It somehow made the smoke that much blacker, the losses of businesses and jobs that much greater, the still-unfolding story of the fire that much sadder.