Christie at Edgewater fire scene: “I’m here to make sure” displaced not forgotten


EDGEWATER – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, criticized in recent weeks for spending too much time traveling to set up a potential 2016 Republican presidential nomination bid, made sure that in the wake of Wednesday night’s devastating fire in Edgewater, he was front and center to offer the state’s help.

“At times like this, what people are most concerned about is being forgotten,” said Christie on Thursday as residents of the Edgewater apartment complex that was gutted by fire on Wednesday streamed into the borough’s community center seeking relief, some greeting the governor. “That’s why I’m here – to make sure that people know we will not forget. We will make sure that we do everything we can to try to assist them, and to have this transitional period be as short, safe and comfortable as it can be for themselves and their families, and then to move on from there.”

During his more than five years as governor, Christie has had some politically iconic moments in the aftermath of several New Jersey disasters, some natural, some man-made. After the five-alarm fire at Edgewater’s Avalon apartment complex that left approximately 1,000 borough residents displaced, which local fire officials declared to be accidental, Christie compared and contrasted two disasters in juxtaposition with the events in the Bergen County borough.

“This is bad, [Sandy] was unthinkable,” Christie told PolitickerNJ, referring to the 2012 hurricane. “I feel awfully for the folks here, but here we have no loss of life. You couldn’t have said that about Sandy. Here we have a very contained area, where we can look to rebuild quickly and appropriately.

“If it reminds me of anything, it reminded me a little bit more of the [2013] Seaside Heights boardwalk fire, about not quite a year after Sandy,” Christie added. “Whenever I see the state fire marshal, I told him he’s one of my least favorite people because it’s never good news [when I see him].

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Christie at Edgewater fire scene: “I’m here to make sure” displaced not forgotten