Fire rages along NJ boardwalk damaged by Sandy

Photo taken from ABC News Live Stream

A raging boardwalk fire in a Jersey shore community still recovering from Superstorm Sandy has destroyed more than 50 businesses.

Seaside Park Councilwoman Nancy Koury says Thursday's fire took out 32 businesses there. A real estate agent who works with neighboring Seaside Heights on tourism projects says 20 more were destroyed there.

Authorities have finally been able to declare the raging fire on a boardwalk under control. The cause is still under investigation, but it is believed to have started at a frozen custard stand on the boardwalk.

The wind-whipped fire devoured eight blocks of boardwalk - four each in Seaside Park and Seaside Heights - and destroyed dozens of boardwalk businesses and caused millions in damages.

The Hail Mary effort to save the remainder of the boardwalk began in the evening when workers ripped out a 25-foot swath of boardwalk to serve as a makeshift fire break, depriving the blaze of fuel. They then filled the void with giant sand piles - makeshift dunes that this time held back not water but fire.

Firefighters were still dousing the remains of the fire well into the night.

The fire burned much of the boardwalk that was just rebuilt in time for Memorial Day after being wrecked by Superstorm Sandy.