On Thursday afternoon Tim Farrell was among the 400 firefighters who beat back the flames that engulfed the Boardwalks of Seaside Park and Seaside Heights in New Jersey. Eleven months after losing his family home to Hurricane Sandy the Jersey Shore resident’s heart dropped when he saw his new home go up in flames.
Farrell (42) was one of the first firefighters on the scene at the fire, believed to have started at Kohr’s Frozen Custard store, on Thursday at about 2pm.
“It was a hot fire right from the start. Not only did we have fire in front of us, we had fire behind us. It was a tough one.”
He stayed on the scene for 24-hours battling the biggest fire he had faced. He admitted that, “I kind of took a knee at one point. I kind of took it all into perspective.”
This has been a tough year for the Farrell family. In October last year Farrell’s home was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. The firefighter and his son stayed with family for four months and eventually Farrell, his girlfriend, and his son moved to another home at Seaside Heights.
On Thursday Farrell said that “the worst thing that ever could happen to a firefighter” happened to him.
He told CBS, “I got a call on my radio. When we got a block away from it, the crew and myself knew it was mine. First thing I saw was flames coming out of the windows and my heart dropped.”
His home was destroyed as was the boardwalk where he had grown up.
The CBS reporter asked him in the report below how much more he can take. He said, “I really don't know. That's a good question. It's been a hell of a year. I'm hoping that this is it. I am certainly hoping that this is it."
Despite everything Seaside Heights and his family have been through Farrell said, “I think it is going to come back better than ever. I really do.”
Most importantly he said he plans to make sure that Jersey Shore remains home for his family.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has pledged $15 million in state aid to help rebuild the area. The fire destroyed 32 oceanfront businesses and caused $2 million in damage to the boardwalk alone.
Arson investigators continue to sift through a wasteland of ash, hunting for clues to determine what sparked the “suspicious” blaze, reports the New York Post.
Here’s the full CBS report and interview: