Smokey fire burning at Wildwood, NJ motel brings large response
WILDWOOD — A fire spakred by a welder's torch in the attic of the Windward Motel late Tuesday morning left one of its "L" shaped buildings uninhabitable as the summer season gets underway.
Many stood on the sidewalk watching fire crews working the smokey fire at the two-story motel on Ocean Avenue. Flames could be seen in some photos coming out from under the roof. Wildwood fire chief Ernie Troiano called it a stubborn fire.
"There was a fire burning in the void between the ceiling and the attic that went from one end of the building to the next. We had a pretty decent fire condition in there. Looked like it had been burning in there for a while before we were notified just from the amount of smoke," Wildwood fire chief Ernie Troiano told New Jersey 101.5.
Troiano said the state fire marshall determined a spark from a welder's torch being used by a construction worker was responsible for starting the fire.
Wind pushed the fire
Winds blowing out the east-northeast, gusting as high as 15 mph were a factor in gaining the upper hand on the fire, according to Troiano.
"The wind was pushing it, we were chasing it a little bit. The guys on the roof were able to make a trench cut which goes from one side of the roof to the other and stop the fire from spreading," the chief said.
New Jersey 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said winds flipped to a light land breeze, no more than 7 mph early in the afternoon.
Troiano said fire crews kept the fire from spreading to adjacent properties. No fire fighters were injured in the fight.
One of two buildings heavily damaged
No guests were checked in, only construction workers and owners, according to the chief. Some guests were expected to check in Wednesday.
Troiano said the building with the fire sustained significant water and smoke damage. The roof took heavy fire damage.
Some photos courtesy of the Watch the Tramcar Please Facebook page.