The Seaside Park boardwalk custard shop near where September's fire is believed to have failed its electrical inspection in March and was never issued a certificate to restore its power.


Kohr's Fire (Jersey Shore Hurricane News via Facebook)
The beginning of the boardwalk fire in Seaside Park at Kohr's Custard (Jersey Shore Hurricane News via Facebook)

The Asbury Park Press reports that the adjoining Biscayne Candies store did pass its inspection.

A lawyer for Kohr's Custard Shop tells the newspaper that the store believed it was up to the landlord to arrange for any electrical inspection, not the renter.“It’s my understanding that before the fire and before the season, in fact, once the power was restored by the property owner, we simply went into the facility and were able, with cleanup, to re-open,” attorney Mark Antin told the Press.

Seaside Park records show that the Kohr's location was never issued a certificate to restore its power. Biscayne Candies made suggested improvements and connections and was granted a certificate on May 28. Meters were removed after the storm from most businesses and an inspection was required so a certificate could be issued authorizing the meter to be reinstalled.

During a March 5 inspection, the Press says an inspector found a number of problems and could not issue a certificate to restore power. On May 15, an inspector wrote in his log that JCP&L was hooking up power despite Kohr's still not having it's certificate. A cut-in card left at the store may have led the utility to believe it was OK to reinstall a meter but it's not known where the card may have come from.

The Ocean County Prosecutor's report on the boardwalk fire concluded that the 11-alarm blaze that consumed 4 blocks of the boardwalk started under the boardwalk in Seaside Park at Kohr’s and the Biscayne Candy Shop. Electrical wiring was “compromised” by sand and water from Superstorm Sandy in a “completely inaccessible” area under an older part of the boardwalk. It was under salt water and sand for some time after Sandy and became exposed causing it to spark.

“You have to tear down the entire building to get to the wire,” said Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronado when the panel's conclusions were revealed. “I believe it’s inaccessible.”

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