ATF investigates Playland Castaway Cove fire
The ATF is one of several agencies investigating weekend fires at the Playland Castaway Cove in Ocean City and a recycling plant in Passaic.
Rides at the park were spared in Saturday morning's fire but the fire damaged the park's huge ship and parrot and three business offices. The fire also tore through Hamburger Construction Co., Dairy Queen and BrumeJuice, according to Brian Hartley, vice president of Playland Castaway Cove.
The ATF's involvement is not unusual for large fires, according to ATF spokesman Dylan Wiggins, who said a team was also deployed to Friday night's fire at the Atlantic Coast Fiber plant in Passaic.
"Since 1972, ATF was tasked with doing large-scale arson investigations, and not necessarily arson but determining the origin and cause of a large-scale fire," Wiggins told New Jersey 101.5. "We have a team of chemists, engineers, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, certified fire investigators. We work right alongside our partners with the local, county, state fire marshal's office and local prosecutor's office."
The Ocean City Fire Department Investigation Unit, Cape May County Fire Marshal’s Office, Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office and New Jersey State Fire Marshal’s Office are also involved, according to Ocean City spokesman Doug Bergen.
On Facebook, Playland asked for recent pictures of the interior of the building and the arcade to assist the investigation. The company vowed to rebuild and said it will be open "sooner rather than later."
Bergen asked anyone who has additional information about the fire to contact the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-465-1135, the Ocean City Police Department at 609-399-9111, report it anonymously through the Cape May County Sheriff’s Tip Line at cmcsheriff.net and click on anonymous tip or through the Cape May County Crime Stoppers at 609-889-3597.
Eddie Davis of Lite Rock 96.9 contributed to this report.