Archive for the ‘Warrington Hotel fire’ Category

The Warrington Hotel fire site in Ocean Grove, NJ.  March 4, 2017; one day after the fire.  The pink buildidng is the La Pierre Condominiums.  The burned out foundation skeleton is the remains of the Warrington. Internet photo

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

You may recall that the derelict Warrington Hotel, along Lake Avenue, burned to the ground on March 3,  2017.  We wrote over 30 articles about the property,  land use issues, and then circumstances surrounding the fire.  Our reporting is more comprehensive than any other media outlet on this topic.

The owner of the Warrington  had gotten permission to turn the property  into a boutique hotel just days before the fire.

There was suspicion of arson, and a federal agency (ATF) was called in to assist the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office in the investigation.   In 2018 the investigation was inappropriately terminated, but subsequently it was resumed.

It turns out that although arson was strongly suspected, the case was closed, supposedly without any conclusion.  This result comes as a surprise to concerned parties, including Blogfinger.  We haven’t heard from any of the victims or neighbors lately. And we have heard from nobody at the Neptuner Phony Baloney Mothership.

So why would anyone want to torch the Warrington?  Maybe the place was worth more destroyed than left standing.

Now that the criminal investigation is over, civil  law suits can proceed.  Individuals are making claims as are insurance companies against the owner, Jack Ancona, and Sawbucks Contracting. This process could go on for a long time.

The damage to the nearby La Pierre Condominiums was extensive, and a number of cottages were destroyed on Seaview Avenue.  Some neighbors became homeless.

Meanwhile, the Warrington site remains just a burned out foundation.   Previous  permits for the owner to build his boutique hotel were nullified after the conflagration.

If you read our articles about the Warrington you will find all sorts of concerns about the fire, fire safety at the site,  and about land use issues including the use of Lake Avenue as well as parking concerns, zoning, and access to Seaview Avenue for various purposes.

We hope to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to see the entire investigation report.

Here is an interesting article from 2018 on Blogfinger regarding the investigation:

Warrington investigation 2018

If any of you are planning to do some research on this subject, just use our search box at the top right of our home page.



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July 20, 2018

It was revealed today that the ATF arson investigation was ended last October, and then the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office ended theirs in November.  But because of poor communication between the agencies, the arsonist may have been able to slip away.   The recent muckraking  by NJ.com prompted the two agencies to re-open their investigations now..

Monmouth County Prosecutors office makes the announcement. NJ.com photo by Patti Sapone.

Quote posted by NJ.com from the Monmouth Co. Prosecutor’s Office:   “I freely admit it’s incumbent on us to make sure that in cases like this, we have clarity in communications with the agencies we’re working with,” he said. “We own the breakdown in communication as much as the ATF does.”

Both agencies had agreed that arson was the cause of the Warrington fire on March 3, 2017 and they had several suspects  in their sights when the agencies quit the scene.  But now, thanks to the journalism of NJ.com, Alex Napoliello was able to post today’s jaw dropping and outrageous revelations. The link is below.

And thanks to an Ocean Grover who tipped us off to today’s  headline.



Here is a link to our 2017 article about whether we can trust fire investigations in this town:

fire investigations in Ocean Grove


AWOL NATION:   “I’m on Fire.”

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Wesley Lake. OG side. Head east, and you will quickly arrive at the Warrington site—it would be a terrific spot for a park, preferably where dogs are invited..Paul Goldfinger photo© 2017

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

This post is a brief update.   We want to keep this journalistic fire from extinguishing and we need to maintain our focus on that lot at 22 Lake Avenue, the site of the Warrington Hotel’s charred corpse.  All that is left is the foundation–an ancient brick structure which, like the Roman aqueducts, remains hanging around with nothing to do but attract conversations.

Blogfinger has been following this strange case for about 6 years, starting with the building’s deterioration into a derelict boarding house and then flaring up nearly one year ago in that massive fire which destroyed the place in addition to other buildings, but the Warrington is where the conflagration began.

This subject has more loose ends than a Tijuana brothel.  Below are some of the active issues. As you know, BF is an information -sharing website, so if you know something, say something  (to us.)

a.  Lawsuits.   We knew early on that some victims were initiating law suits because of their injuries and property losses.  But we have no information regarding those suits.

We do know that a number of insurance companies made payouts and are now seeking to sue the owner and the contractor at the Warrington.  We have no comprehensive information about that, but we can report that such suits are actively being processed.

In addition we reported recently that the owner of the Warrington, Jack Ancona, is suing Neptune Township to try to recover the pre-fire variances and approvals that were awarded to him for turning the old building into a boutique hotel.  But the Township is insisting on proper zoning rulings that require single family homes to be built after an old boarding house is destroyed in a fire  (as with the Manchester Inn.)

b. Arson investigation.  We know that the Feds  (ATF) are still involved and that no final report has been publicly revealed.  We have learned that a suspect was arrested, but again, we have no details.

c.  Fire prevention issues.  Many of you had expressed concerns that not enough had been done to protect the Warrington site, especially with regard to fire risk, but also regarding vagrants who were reported inside that building before the fire.

Since the fire, the Township has been insisting on fences around construction sites.

d.  And a related topic has to to with liability….who is responsible for what happened at the Warrington?

At Blogfinger we invite speculation, so let’s hear about it.


HEATWAVE  “Mind Blowing Decisions.”



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Rainbow. Warrington Hotel  fire site as seen across Wesley Lake. Photo by “Suffering Surfer.” © Special to Blogfinger. 7/1/17.  Click to enlarge.

Rain + Sun = Rainbow.

8 pm 7/1/17: over Warrington fire site.
Is this a positive omen?

Suffering Surfer

Editor’s note:  Another good omen would be if the town demands single family houses at that Warrington site.  After all, that is what is happening next door at the Park View site and it is what the Master Plan asks for.

And look at the yellow/red roof beauty down the block on Seaview Avenue—the anchor for a lovely residential neighborhood?

Music for a good omen by Emilio de Benito (guitarist).

It is “Granada” from Woody’s film Vicky Cristina Barcelona:

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