UPDATE: Wildwood fire caused $250,000 in damage

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WILDWOOD — Bystanders lined the streets to watch as smoke and flames poured from the windows of an apartment on the second floor of K.D.’s Deli and Market Friday morning.

There were no injuries, but the Wildwood Fire Department said about $250,000 in damage was done to the building and it is now uninhabitable.

A family cat was killed in the blaze and was not found until after the fire was extinguished, the department said. 

The two-alarm fire started around 11 a.m. and was under control by 11:45 a.m. The deli has been vacant for years, and the tenants living above it were not home when the fire broke out, Deputy Fire Chief Daniel Speigel said.

As part of the response, Speigel said the power had been turned off, causing outages around the city and boardwalk.

According to Frank Tedesco, a spokesman for Atlantic City Electric, the power was turned off as a safety precaution to allow the fire departments to battle the blaze. He said that at one point, 1,800 customers were without power. But, power was expected to be restored to almost everyone by 2 p.m. and the remaining customers were expected to have power again by 3 p.m.

Lynn Clark, a Wildwood resident who lives near the structure, said she heard several sirens and smelled smoke.

“It was billowing and billowing,” she said of smoke from the blaze. Then, she watched firefighters take a chainsaw to the roof.

“It got really nasty,” Clark said.

Speigel said that there was some work being done to the roof before the fire began. The Cape May County Fire Marshal’s Office has ruled the fire accidental and was caused by workers making roof repairs.

Firefighters from Wildwood, Wildwood Crest, Rio Grande and North Wildwood, as well as Wildwood City Police and Middle Township EMS all responded to the scene.

Christie Rotondo / A structure fire that broke out this morning (Aug. 29) at Oak Avenue and Park Boulevard is under control. Christie Rotondo / A structure fire that broke out this morning (Aug. 29) at Oak Avenue and Park Boulevard is under control.

Christie Rotondo / A structure fire that broke out this morning (Aug. 29) at Oak Avenue and Park Boulevard is under control. Christie Rotondo / A structure fire that broke out this morning (Aug. 29) at Oak Avenue and Park Boulevard is under control.


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