By Donald Wittkowski
An early morning fire Friday in Sea Isle City swept through three adjacent beachfront homes, destroying two and badly damaging the third, a city spokeswoman said.
The blaze broke out shortly after 5:30 a.m. on Pleasure Avenue between 91st and 92nd streets in the Townsends Inlet section at the southern tip of Sea Isle.
City spokeswoman Katherine Custer said the buildings included a single-family home and two duplexes containing a total of four units. The homes were unoccupied at the time of the fire, authorities said.
“Most importantly, no one was injured,” Custer said.
Custer said it appeared that two homes were “definitely destroyed” and a third was badly damaged.
“The damage is severe,” she said.
By the end of the day, the remnants of the two destroyed duplexes were demolished, leaving only charred rubble. The single-family home remained standing while insurance adjusters inspected the damage to determine if the house could be saved.
Fire crews from Sea Isle, Strathmere, Avalon, Ocean View and Marmora battled the blaze. Photos and video posted on social media showed the homes engulfed in flames as police cars and fire trucks rushed to the scene in the morning darkness.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Cape May County Fire Marshal’s Office and detectives from the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office and Sea Isle Police Department.