SEASIDE PARK – In the early morning hours of Tuesday, August 8, Seaside Park Police and Fire responded to a structure fire at the beachfront of 2nd Avenue.
When they arrived at 4:41 a.m., they saw a 10-foot by 10-foot wooden gazebo engulfed in flames. The wooden hut is owned by the township and one of seven others that are set up along the beach and used to sell ice cream to beachgoers throughout the day.
The Ocean County Fire Marshal’s Office provided an initial response, and asked the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Arson Unit and Ocean County Sheriff’s Department Crime Scene Investigation Unit to respond and assist in the investigation.
Ocean County Fire Marshal John Pasola and his Accelerant Detection K-9 Sam conducted a preliminary sniff test to determine if there were ignitable liquids present. K-9 Sam had a positive response to the sniff test, indicating that there were ignitable liquids in the floor area along the south side of the hut.
A full scene examination was then carried out, and it was determined that the fire had started in the gazebo on the floor. The partnering agencies involved concluded that an open flame to ignitable liquids could not be ruled out as the cause of the fire.
Anyone with information regarding this case should contact Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Arson Investigation Unit Detective Christopher Bonner at 732-929-2027, ext. 2449. All information will be treated confidentially.