Seaside Park: Beach ice cream hut fire was set intentionally

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The following is a release from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office:

On Tuesday, August 08, 2017 at 4:41 a.m, the Seaside Park Police and Fire departments were dispatched to the beachfront at 2nd Avenue for a report of a structure fire.

Upon their arrival, emergency personnel observed a municipally owned 10-foot by 10-foot wooden gazebo style structure fully involved with fire. The structure is one of seven huts placed along the beach utilized to sell ice cream to beachgoers during the day.

The Ocean County Fire Marshal’s Office initially responded and requested the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Arson Unit and Ocean County Sheriff’s Department Crime Scene Investigation Unit respond to assist in the investigation.

OCPO Det. Christopher Bonner requested Ocean County Fire Marshal John Pasola and his Accelerant Detection K-9 “Sam” to respond and conduct a preliminary sniff to determine the presence of ignitable liquids.

Bum Rogers

During the sniff, the K-9 had a positive indication of the presence of ignitable liquids in the area of the floor system along the south side of the structure.

A full scene examination was then conducted and determined that the area of origin was within the gazebo, along the floor system towards the south side of the structure. The partnering agencies concluded that open flame to ignitable liquids couldn’t be eliminated as the cause of the fire.

If anyone has any information regarding this case, please contact OCPO Major Crimes Arson Investigation Unit Det. Christopher Bonner at 732 929-2027 Ext. 2449. All information will be treated completely confidential.