ASBURY PARK, N.J.-- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vowed on Friday that the state will rebuild -- for a second time -- portions of the Seaside Park and Seaside Heights boardwalk destroyed by fire a day earlier.
Much of the iconic boardwalk just rebuilt after superstorm Sandy was destroyed.
At a news conference, Christie said the fire that started at a frozen custard shop Thursday damaging nearly two dozen businesses is now 95% contained. Firefighters will continue to battle hot spots for the next couple of days, he said.
Christie said the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives would be joining the investigation into the cause, but the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office would continue to be the lead investigative agency in the matter.
However, Christie emphasized the cause of the fire remains unknown and it was premature to speculate on what happened.
"The folks on the ground are working side-by-side with the fire investigation team, to ensure that evidence is preserved," Christie said. "To that point, I know there are a lot of questions about how this fire started. We don't know yet and it would be irresponsible for us to speculate."
The damage covers a four-block radius.
Christie said extinguishing the blaze was hampered by 30 mph-winds and the tar roofs of the businesses, which accelerated the spread of the fire.
It may be days before small pockets of fires -- some that may continue to be found under debris -- are fully extinguished, he said.
While there were no serious injuries reported Thursday, Christie said three first responders were hurt Friday when they fell out of a high vehicle and sustained head injuries.
The governor noted that the White House has been in touch with his administration, and he expected to speak with President Obama at some point about the situation.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy have both contacted him to offer their state's assistance.
The State Police Arson Bomb Unit, the New Jersey State Fire Marshal and the Camden County Prosecutor's Office are all also involved in the investigation, Christie said.
"The investigation will likely take days, at which point the scene can then be turned over to the property owners," Christie said.
He explained he had directed the commissioners of the state departments of Community Affairs, Banking and Insurance, Environmental Protection and the chief executive officer of the Economic Development Authority to have staff in the borough this weekend to assist businesses and local officials with demolition, removal and rebuilding.
"We have endured and begun to come back from the devastation of Sandy. We will not let these fires destroy those efforts," Christie said. "The state of New Jersey will stand with the local governments and the business owners to restart the rebuilding as soon as possible."
Christie said there are still 100 firefighters on the scene this morning, down from 400 the night before.
As the blaze threatened to destroy the town, about 5,000 to 6,000 gallons of water was pumped per minute from Barnegat Bay to douse the flames.
Flanked by first responders and a "Who's Who" list of Ocean County law enforcement and political officials, Christie expressed his gratitude to all of the first responders, support volunteers and other emergency workers who came together to save Seaside Park.
"Yesterday, we saw what it means to be from our state," Christie said. "We are tough and we stand together in a crisis. ... You have once again showed what a resilient community Seaside Park and Seaside Heights are. You came to help those who were helping you and you showed your toughness and I appreciate seeing that again."