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January 30, 2021

Four-alarm fire on Ocean City Boardwalk burns Playland's Castaway Cove

The blaze damaged the entrance to the amusement park, located just south of 10th Street; the cause has not been immediately determined

Emergencies Fires
Ocean City Boardwalk Fire Google Maps/Google streetview

A fire broke out in Ocean City, New Jersey Saturday morning at the Playland's Castaway Cove.

A four-alarm fire broke out at Playland's Castaway Cove in Ocean City, New Jersey, at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning. 

The cause of the 10th street fire is unknown at this time, NBC10 reported.

There were no immediate reports of injuries and crews are dousing the flames to extinguish the fire. Firefighters controlled the blaze shortly before noon, Ocean City Fire Department spokesperson Doug Bergen said to NBC. 

He said there does not appear to be any structural damage to the boardwalk,  though further inspections will be needed.

The owners of Playland's Castaway Cove said they promise to rebuild the amusement park that has operated on the Ocean City Boardwalk for more than 60 years.

"We struggle to comprehend this mornings events and what will be of the next few months, but we can assure you this, WE WILL REBUILD!!" a statement posted to Playland's Facebook page read. "We have a secondary entrance that will now be our main entrance for the foreseeable future.  We will be open sooner rather than later!"

To our family and loyal guests, we thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. We would...

Posted by Playland Castaway Cove on Saturday, January 30, 2021

At one point during the fire, the Ferris wheel at Playland's Castaway Cove had disappeared behind the thick black smoke in the area, 6ABC reported. The Hamburger Construction Company, Pushpa's Beach Jewelry, k-pop!, Steel's Fudge and Prep's Pizzeria & Dairy Bar are the closest businesses to the fire.

Fire crews were yelling at passersby to "stay back!" ABC reported. The Ocean City Firefighters Association said people should use caution in the area.

The cause of the fire is not yet known, though FOX29 reports it's believed to be a structural fire.

The news of the fire comes four days after it was announced that another iconic Ocean City Boardwalk business, Gillian's Wonderland Pier, the amusement park at the boardwalk's north end, is facing sheriff's auction because its owners had defaulted on $8 million in mortgage debt.

Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian, who owns Wonderland with his wife, already has said they have secured the financing needed to prevent the auction. The Gillian family has owned the amusement pier since it opened in 1929.

This story is developing and will be updated.

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