Posts Tagged ‘fire in Ocean Grove’

The lot at 26 Atlantic remains empty. Next to it, Heinz Weck's new yellow and white house is almost complete. To its right, 32 Atlantic has a new roof and other repairs are underway. Behind these, facing Surf Avenue, is the fast-rising new condo development. Photo by Charles Layton

By Yvette Blackman, Contributing Writer @blogfinger

Surf and Atlantic avenues are like almost any other block in Ocean Grove where new homes are going up. For months since the fire last March, residents have been navigating past the inevitable construction trailer or waste container jutting into the narrow streets.

The wind-driven fire destroyed or severely damaged seven homes and an old hotel which was being converted to condos. More than two dozen people were displaced, including renters who had no insurance. Some renters never returned to Surf and Atlantic. Some homeowners — those with roots in the community, some for whom these were second homes — have moved on. Four are in various stages of rebuilding; two are selling.

Here’s a glimpse of where things stand with the properties that suffered the greatest damage:

— At 27 Surf, where the fire started in the basement of the old hotel, the nine-unit condo building is rising fast. Gone is the cottage at No. 25, its tiny footprint swallowed up in the new construction. A chain link fence forms a protective sentry around the four-story building, most of which is framed and covered with sheets of plywood. A row of front windows at the top remains exposed to the elements.

— The empty lot at 31 Surf has a James J. Pentz, Realtors sign that went up October 12. To date, no formal offers have been submitted on the 30-foot-by-64-foot lot, the only south-facing lot for sale just two blocks from the beach, according to realtor Karen Pentz.

— New windows have been installed and framing is under way at 33 Surf, a single-family home wrapped in plywood and Tyvek insulation.

— The two-family house at 32 Atlantic has a new roof, and plywood covers the front windows. The back of the home is wrapped in Tyvek.

— A century 21 “Lot For Sale” sign is posted on the vacant lot at 30 Atlantic. No offers have been submitted since the sign went up about a month after the fire.

— At 28 Atlantic, the two-story yellow house with white trim, owned by Heinz Weck, appears near complete. The interior was fully lit late one night this week, and a ceiling fan was whirring in what appeared to be an empty living room. The front yard is filled with dirt and sand.

— The lot at 26 Atlantic looks like a well-worn path, coated in mud, a few leaves and very little else.

— No. 24 1/2 Atlantic, which a fire marshal’s report said sustained moderate damage, is boarded up with mold growing on the siding.

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John Gallagher

Steve Mandeville


Steve Mandeville


View from Ocean Pathway looking north. Adelle Marcero of Ocean Grove


Many thanks to those intrepid Ocean Grovers who contributed to this gallery.

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