Transcript for N.J. Gov. Chris Christie Calls Seaside Fire An 'Unthinkable Situation'
A good evening everybody. This is obviously. Had just. Unthinkable situations. For us to be standing here and watching this. What's going on behind all of you. Is just unthinkable. I was advice this afternoon. At about 330 that a fired begun. On the seaside park section. Of the boardwalk. And that it was. Beginning to spread. Obviously due to the winds which are -- it. Thirty to forty miles an hour. It began to spread. At that point. I was -- Commissioner constable among others he immediately contacted the state fire Marshall. Bill -- And we began to work with the locals here to deploy -- resources. So. Right now we have firefighters and trucks. From all -- New Jersey here working together. Currently seaside park at seaside heights has support from -- and ocean county. Monmouth county Burlington. Cape May union. Mercer Atlantic. New Jersey State Police and the state forest firefighters. Preliminary numbers in terms of the support. -- -- caution these are preliminary so we'll update them later 35 -- companies. Fifteen latter company's. Any number of special services units and on the scene now we have approximately 400 firefighters. The division the state division of fire safety is working with the local incident commander to supply whatever fire service resources are needed. When I arrived on the scene I met with the local incident commander the state fire Marshall. And other support personnel from seaside park -- seaside heights. Assured them that whatever resources would be necessary. That we -- provide them and I would stay on the scene to make sure that was done. Bottom line it's everybody's working together. The current fire line goes from Stockton. So Lincoln along the boardwalk. Fire personnel have dug up the boardwalk. At Lincoln avenue. And -- a twenty foot trench that's where firefighters are making their stand right now. To stop the spread. Any further north on the boardwalk. Right now we believe that we're finding some success. But we have a ways to go yet to make sure that we don't see it spread further north. At this point in time the damage is almost completely on the boardwalk. Impact -- about twenty or so businesses. On the boardwalk that spanned about a six block lying. Early today there were some embers that hit a condominium complex. Where that fire was put out. With minimal damage to the complex. There have been several minor injuries to firefighters. Mostly heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation. Those folks are being treated. As we speak. Now there also habits of challenges. With water supply because. Of damage to the system. Post sandy. And so in order work around this we are drawing lines from -- to -- bag. So much -- -- -- that you see fighting the fires right now is being drawn directly from the market bay lines are being run from the bay. All the way here to the boardwalk. -- For all the people the public out there. Folks who are well intentions whether there. Property owners in this area who are second homeowners and outside the area whether you're just -- to. On love the shore. And want to make sure that everything's okay here. My advice to you affect my admonitions to you is do not come here. Do not travel stay away. We are still trying to bring more fire equipment in here this is going to be something that's going to be going on for quite some time. And we need to have easy access. To this area of the boardwalk. Anyone who comes down to this area -- by car or on foot. Runs the risk of impeding. Our ability to be able to fight this fire most efficiently so please -- anybody I understand your concern. Understand your curiosity. But please do not come here until you hear through the media that it's all cleared to return to this area. I want affect both mayors. Who have been right on top of the situation. Police chief boy from seaside heights. Who was an enormous help as this fire started to spread. And it's continuing now with by his man as are the folks in seaside park police department as well. We have a lot of work still to do here and were hoping that the trench and the stand that we're making on Lincoln avenue. Will stop the fire there -- keep it contained from there south. On the boardwalk. -- I could take a few questions mark. -- whole thing is if he had -- As you head north its its new boardwalk and where. We dug trenches is it's -- that's -- boardwalk yes -- We not gonna speculated any -- on the cause or anything at this point our focus right now is on getting that fire behind you out. On the -- far Marshall is here. -- county prosecutor Coronado is here. His folks are on the ground along with the state fire Marshall. We will deal with the cause of the fire at the appropriate time -- right now. We're not gonna take any questions on speculation on cause -- all would be. Would be speculation. This and I said. When I got my first full briefing before I left. On threatened to come here I sit in my staffer -- I don't withdraw. And that's me. After all that effort. And time and resources that we put in to help the folks in seaside park in seaside heights rebuild. To see this going on as -- said at the top is just unthinkable so I'd off -- I can only imagine. How the residents and business owners. In this area are feeling. Marcos -- -- that's why I'm here to make sure that every resource is brought to bear to contain this problem. And listen. This is -- -- world you know as soon as this is over we'll pick ourselves up we'll dust ourselves off we'll get back to work. It. And now I I know we're not we're not -- to the point where we can say that -- we're hopeful. On that -- that this the line we've drawn -- Lincoln avenue. Will be where the fire stops and it doesn't spread any further north remember too that probably in thirty or forty minutes -- have a major front moving through here. With significant rain in a shift of wins both those things should help -- as well but I can't say at this point that were contained no. -- Thirty mile an hour -- will do -- for you. Thirty mile an hour winds -- from the south and north we'll do that for you and that's really as I was driving -- -- 37. Well before the bridge on the bear island you could see the smoke moving rapidly nor. I'm rapidly and that just tells you how how brisk these winds are. And that's -- spreading the fire and were hoping through the digging that stretched therein and the fighting the fire Lincoln avenue that we're going to be able to contain it there also. With the front coming through double change the winds as well what's ethical -- -- help. Well listen. There's the things that were picked -- Now listen the thing is -- -- the of the world's -- -- -- so you know -- burns but you know -- at these restaurants have in them what they have in them. But really. You know the best information we have at the moment is the biggest reason for the spread is the wind the wind -- They'll -- the worst possible it could be -- Away from the press enough from the breast milk I understand I -- an object. Marianne. No I've been on the ground Marion -- -- you know what I saw first of all were. -- dozens and dozens of firefighters working like crazy to -- -- to try to contain this fire on them what you see is what you see right behind us right now I mean. Fire you know buildings completely in flames. Right now now further the further north you get I was on the boardwalk. On further north past Lincoln avenue. And what I had on the boardwalk was no fire. -- bought the billowing smoke coming from the south of the north but no fire having spread north of Lincoln avenue I was on the boardwalk was able to see that for myself. So. We're you know -- -- continue to try to make sure that we hold that line at Lincoln avenue so that it stops there but. Leave no doubt the destruction south of Lincoln avenue is complete. It's complete. Now and we're not gonna speculate on -- right now. What we're doing right now is just gonna trying to contain the fire which is which is what we're doing and then we'll go further on -- You know we've -- -- there's no gas explosions going on mark I mean you blaming. If the kid excuse me excuse yes they'll answer his question. If the gas -- were exploding. We'd all be out here OK so -- to let's not get that in the water out there. There there's none of that going on right now yes -- Do the winds like the governor's stated he's right on course he's right on right on the money. We have wins like this you have Brusett have -- -- -- -- -- are made. With petroleum by products -- what you got is whenever. Wind of this magnitude. Coming across. It will make it burn faster than normal. So the governor was right on point. The wind is one of the major major problems that we have here. And quit reading get back closer but if I'd get I'd like you know -- We're not get specific -- it did good the fact that listen the fact of the matter is we've worked around. There were damages to the to the water supply here that everybody's aware of and what we've done is worked from the bay and pump the water from the bay so we don't have a shortage of water but we had to work around it and that's what these guys do. The firefighters the state fire -- the folks on the ground are trained and prepared to deal with every contingency. They've dealt with -- contingency and and that's how were able to be fighting this is aggressively as we are. And as successfully as we are up north with the supply water that we have. So listen. Any any other questions are really get -- just leave media try to speculate and the makah do that saw -- frustrate you and god -- I don't want to be frustrated so. So we're gonna end it now on honor stay on the scene for for for the foreseeable future. As we get more information that's relevant to all of you my office we'll send out information if we're gonna have another press advisory tonight. We will let you all know that but for now you've gotten all the information that we have. That's ought to get back to let everybody here including myself do our jobs. Appreciate you being out here will keep you informed and as soon as we have more to say if we do have more to say. That's new or different I'll come back behind the marker -- with this group. And we'll do it again otherwise we'll continue -- push things out to you via email and that communication to let you know what's going on back -- very much.
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