Atlantic City firefighters are continuing to search for the cause of Friday’s fire on the Boardwalk. Five retail businesses were damaged in the major New Jersey tourist area.
The fire was first spotted at about 8:30 am. Smoke was exiting from doors and windows when firefighters arrived. Flames were engulfing much of the first floor.
The blaze was not under control until about 11 am, the Press of Atlantic City reported.
Sixty firefighters battled the blaze. No injuries were seen, the report said.
There was water and smoke damage to the businesses.
This was a real serious fire because these are very old buildings,” Atlantic City Fire Chief Scott Evans later told the Press.
One resident, Colleen Pichirallo, told the newspaper, “You couldn’t see half of the building. It was all engulfed.”
Also noticing the heavy smoke was Crystal Temarantz, a Kingston, Pa., resident, who was staying at the nearby Resorts Casino Hotel.
“I wasn’t sure if it was a fire. I thought maybe it was either a fire or they were cooking food. It looked pretty thick,” she told the Press.
Ripley’s Site Protected
Fire crews kept the three-alarm fire from spreading beyond the century-old building. Nearby, is the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! tourism venue.
Sargis Ghalechyan, owner of Bill’s Gyros and My Friend’s Diner located on the Boardwalk, said the fire “started fast.”
Firefighters continued to stay at the site after 11 am to extinguish hotspots.
Shortly after noon, the portion of the Boardwalk which saw fire damage was reopened.
Evans said H&A Fashion experienced burning in the store’s interior and the outside was sooty.
The building was improved recently by a $1.2 million grant to cover renovations. They were paid for by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.
Las Vegas Historic Blaze
Last weekend, across the country, a historic blaze caused widespread damage to residential buildings off of Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas. It was the largest number of occupied dwelling units on fire in 25 years, Las Vegas firefighters reported.
Ten or more buildings were heavily damaged or destroyed in the four-alarm fire that took five hours to bring under control, firefighters said. Investigators have searched for its cause.
Las Vegas fire investigators found “nothing suspicious” when searching for the origin. There was one minor injury.
Also, on Wednesday, a vacant warehouse west of the Las Vegas Strip caught on fire early Wednesday, with firefighters facing heavy flames and smoke. The property is located near the Palms Casino Resort. There were no injuries. The cause of that fire was not immediately known.
Atlantic City Casino Renovations
In an unrelated matter, earlier this month, Caesars revealed that its namesake casino in Atlantic City will receive the most renovation dollars in an upgrade.
The company expects around $200 million to be poured into the Boardwalk property that opened in 1979.
A considerable portion of the $200 million was spent to update 750 hotel guestrooms and suites at Caesars Atlantic City. In total, the company will spend another $200 million on its other casinos in Atlantic City.
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