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Friday, September 13, 2013

Pizza Shop Owner Devastated By Boardwalk Fire

(Marc R./Yelp)

(Marc R./Yelp)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says the massive fire that destroyed part of an iconic Jersey shore boardwalk in two towns is 95 percent contained.

Christie said Friday it could take days to extinguish “hot pockets” at the scene.

One of the businesses destroyed in the fire was Maruca’s Tomato Pies.

“We had smelled some smoke and then within a minute or so, the smoke raced right up the boardwalk and essentially pulled our entire building,” owner Joe Maruca told Here & Now, noting that he rents the property. He moved into that location after Superstorm Sandy destroyed his previous location.

The shop posted on its Facebook page, “Although this yet another vast setback, we will push even harder to return. We will be back! Once again we would like to thank and pray for the first responders and firemen who worked hard and risked their lives for the safety of others.”

Firefighters are continuing to pour thousands of gallons of water on the smoldering remnants of the massive fire. Officials are counting the cost of once again rebuilding a walkway that had been wrecked less than a year ago by Superstorm Sandy.

About 100 firefighters remain on the scene, and heavy equipment is poised to move in and start poking through the rubble once firefighters extinguished the last burning pockets.

Authorities say the fire that raged for eight hours had destroyed about five blocks of boardwalk in Seaside Park and Seaside Heights and has leveled 32 businesses in Seaside Park alone.

The Associated Press contributed reporting to this article.


  • Joe Maruca, owner of Maruca’s Tomato Pies, which was destroyed in the fire in Seaside Park, N.J.

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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