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Archive for the ‘Ocean Grove fires’ Category

Today, the Manchester was rocking with all the old Beatle's songs.  Musicians came from all over to jam. Pictured here are Dan Baker,John Cogelia, Craig Shore, Mike Meyers and Angelo Cogelia.  Photo by Jean Bredin, citizen photographer.  Feb 22, 2015.

Today, the Majestic was rocking with all the old Beatles’  songs.  Musicians came from all over to jam.
Here are Dan Baker, John Cogelia, Craig Shore, Mike Meyers and Angelo Cogelia.
Photo by Jean Bredin, citizen photographer. Feb 22, 2015.

Here is a real Beatles’ recording:

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This historic building was destroyed in an early morning fire in Naples,  Florida.   A 32 year old man died.   News-Press ©

This historic building was destroyed in an early morning fire in Naples, Florida. A 32 year old man died. News-Press ©

 

Why are we reporting this story from Florida?   Because all Grovers should know about this story.  Our source is the News-Press of Southwest Florida.

The fire began in an outside overhang, so it was able to move undetected for awhile. An electrical source is suspected. The insulation in the roof was a rapidly burning kind that gives off fumes of carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide, both gases tend to deaden the senses.

The building, the 1920’s era Eagle Eye Building on Fifth Avenue South, a major shopping thoroughfare, contained four businesses and one second floor apartment where the victim lived alone. The 911 calls came in late, at about 6:00 am, after the fire had a chance to progress. It was a very cold morning, so few people were out and about.

The man who died of fumes was an actor names Steven Ray Leonard. He was the only male cast member of the TV show “Paradise Coast Housewives.”

Firemen found that the apartment had two smoke alarms, both hard wired. One was not connected to power and it had a dead battery. The other seemed to be connected, but the battery said “2006.”

Does any of this sound familiar? In Ocean Grove we recently had a major loss on Main Avenue, and we also suffered huge fires in 2010 and 2011. I don’t know if any of those fires were thought to be suspicious, but it depends on the definintion of “suspicious.”   Carelessness seemed involved in the Manchester fire, someone must have done something to ignite that tent recently, and who knows about Surf Avenue.

But, in every case, SOMETHING went wrong.   So PLEASE listen to the OGFD and replace your smoke alarm batteries every 6 months. Also install carbon monoxide detectors on each floor. If you are a renter, PLEASE check them. Even if you are staying for just a week, please check them. If you are unsure, just change the batteries.  You can use the changing of the clocks as a reminder, and write the dates on your batteries.

This guy in Naples should be alive today.

–Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger

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Smuggle's Cove.  Feb 6, 2015.  By Dave Matteo of Ocean Grove, citizen photographer.  ©

Smugglers  Cove. Feb 6, 2015. By Dave Mateo of Ocean Grove, citizen photographer. ©

To the Editor:

On Sunday afternoon there was a knock on the door. It was Dave Mateo, owner of On-Site Computers, VP of the Ocean Grove Citizens Patrol, and a neighbor. He presented me with this picture taken at the very end before the building had to be brought down. I thanked Dave, and as President of the Ocean Grove Area Chamber of Commerce, I want to thank all the First Responders that did an amazing job in limiting the loss to our town.

The sheer number of people dedicated to protecting our town and its people was overwhelming. Everywhere you looked there was someone from Ocean Grove or a surrounding town doing what they could to contain the fire to the one building. They need to know they have our sincerest appreciation.
I cannot lie, this has beat me down pretty hard and I am sad for the other merchants as well, but I also realize there were families above us that lost everything. Those that lost pets are especially devastated because pets are family too.
After Superstorm Sandy, Ocean Grove pulled Together and truly became a stronger community with more of a willingness to support one another than ever before. That movement has already started up again and the response from groups and individuals has seen immediate results.

Ocean Grove is and always will be a very special place. Again, I want to thank Dave for the picture, I will treasure it forever.

Rich Lepore, proprietor of Smugglers Cove

Feb. 9, 2015

Ocean Grove, New Jersey

ALLEN TOUSSAINT  (from the HBO series Tremé)

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On March 12, 2011, 27 Surf Avenue was turned into an empty lot. Another home later was built there. Blogfinger photo by Ted Aanensen, Blogfinger staff. ©

On March 12, 2011, 27 Surf Avenue was turned into an empty lot. Another home later was built there. Photo by Ted Aanensen, Blogfinger staff. ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor  @Blogfinger

This is getting ridiculous. First we had the Manchester Inn conflagration on March 13, 2010 and then there was the destructive Surf Avenue fire on March 11, 2011.  Recently a tent burned down—that’s enough to make anybody tense.

Now we add the Main Avenue fire of February 6, 2015. Throughout Ocean Grove’s history there have been many fires which destroyed tinder box buildings including large hotels and boarding hoses.

But you would think that we would have been able to avoid repeats by using superior technology. Of course, many cases are due to human carelessness, and even Smoky the Bear can’t prevent that.

In 2011, an article in Blogfinger questioned the quality of fire investigations in Ocean Grove by County investigators.  Here is a link to a review of that subject. Hopefully they have improved in that area.  Note that none of these fires were found to be suspicious, not even the tent fire where the electricity and gas had been turned off. Spontaneous combustion perhaps?  And how about the “Friday February Fire of 2015?”  We’re told that it is “currently under investigation.”

Fire investigators article Blogfinger 2011

So now we have another big fire which will leave a large empty lot on Main Avenue, sort of like the large lots we acquired around the Manchester Inn and on Surf Ave. in the past.

In those locations, opulent single family homes went up. Before the Manchester burned there was talk of converting the building into condos, but that was not to be. Interestingly, the owner of that Inn said that rebuilding the hotel was economically unfeasible.

The Sampler was demolished,  and that site remains empty, awaiting construction of two Victorian wannabes. Meanwhile we have another blank space on Main Avenue.

The other double empty lot on the second Beach block of Main Ave. will be where Mary’s Place will be constructed.  I think something burned down there in the past.  (anybody know?)  That zoning story was discussed recently on BF.

So what will happen to the new vacant lots at the site of Friday’s fire?  Based on past experience, whatever happens will not be decided by the citizens, no matter how many hearings are held.  Representative government in this town is in some respects deficient, at least as far as those who live here are concerned.  Transparency of processes needs to be improved, such as in the zoning arena.  But, if we are dissatisfied , whose fault is that?  Just look in the mirror.

 

 

 

 

 

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Tent fire.  Ocean Grove, near the Great Auditorium.   Photo by Prosper Belizia, Blogfinger staff. ©

Tent fire. Ocean Grove, near the Great Auditorium. Photo by Prosper Bellizia, Blogfinger staff. ©  7:44  am, January 21, 2015

Interior view by Tom Costantino, Blogfinger staff. ©

Interior view by Tom Costantino, Blogfinger staff.  Ocean Grove. © January 21, 2015.

7:38 am.  By Prosper  Belizia.

7:38 am. By Prosper Bellizia.  Note the Tabernacle to the left.

Two Blogfinger citizen reporters were at the scene of a tent fire this morning which was reported at 2:50 am by a nearby resident.  The Ocean Grove Fire Department and neighboring fire departments quickly contained the fire.  The fire  destroyed a tent near the Great Auditorium, over towards the Tabernacle, on the Front Circle.  Two other nearby tents were also damaged.  Three firemen sought medical attention for minor injuries.  One had slipped on the ice. No details are currently available about the others.

A Fire Department officer said that a squatter staying in the tent may have been responsible, but no one has been apprehended. Gas company personnel were present at the scene. The electric was reportedly turned off for the winter at the tent community.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Mr. Gradone of the OGCMA thanked the resident who first reported the fire.

Please let us know if you have any more  information about this worrisome event.  (Blogfinger@verizon.net).

Reporting  by Prosper Bellizia and Tom Costantino, both of Ocean Grove.  Other information from JP Gradone of the OGCMA.

 

 

OG tent in its winter garb.  the canvas part is put away.  the wooden structure is permanent.  Dec. 2014.  Paul Goldfinger photo ©

OG tent in its winter garb. The canvas part is put away. The wooden structure is permanent. Dec. 2014. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

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