A video that surfaced on the Internet in the United States about six months after Sandy struck shows an up-close view of the horrors of the storm in Brick Township’s Camp Osborn neighborhood, which burnt to the ground due to fires thought to be sparked by transformer explosions and fueled by natural gas lines.
The video was aired on Mexican television during the storm, but did not surface in the U.S. for months. It is credited to Robert Raia. Attempts to locate Raia, with the hope of interviewing him and obtaining additional video, have been unsuccessful.
The Camp Osborn neighborhood, which consisted of three entities – two homeowners associations and a land-lease parcel – completely burned down, in most portions from ocean-to-bay.
The land-lease parcel has been approved for the development of 13 single-family homes, replacing more than 30 bungalows that once stood there. The larger parcels of land that comprised the associations have not yet been redeveloped and no plans to do so are pending before the Brick Township Planning Board.
An ocean breach at the foot of the Mantoloking Bridge and roadways blocked by sand at the Route 37 bridge blocked access to the barrier island, which rendered firefighters unable to respond to calls during the fire. Eventually, township officials said at the time, crews from Bil Jim Construction used heavy equipment to put out the fires by dumping wet sand on top of hot spots. By the time they arrived, however, more than 70 homes had been destroyed.
The neighborhood consisted of a mix of long-time seasonal homeowners and year-round residents, none of whom have returned to their homes three years after the storm.