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Residents remember boardwalk arcade, other businesses damaged in Carolina Beach fire

CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Investigators still do not know what caused the fire yesterday at the Carolina Beach boardwalk. It destroyed the arcade and damaged some neighboring businesses.

Now locals, workers and tourists alike are reminiscing about the fun times, and trying to figure out how to rebuild.

The boardwalk, originally built in the ’30s, has been destroyed and rebuilt three times over the years. Now some business owners will have to rebuild once again.

“It’s sad, especially for Frank’s Pizza,” Toni Thomas said.

Many residents stopped by Friday to see the damage from Thursday’s fire, sharing their fond memories of the boardwalk, and the ever-popular arcade.

“It’s terrible because that’s a historic site,” Deana Hamilton said.

Hamilton says she has been coming to the Arcade here at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk ever since she was a little girl, and now brings her grand-kids. But she says the boardwalk simply is not the same without the arcade.

“I have pictures of me and my grandkids, and they loved it. And it’s just so sad because, you know, it’s just real sad that it’s gone down,” Hamilton said.

But how will modern building codes affect restoring this historic piece of property?

“The Division of Coastal Management regulates the areas, so they have restrictions on if you’re building is damaged over 50%, and they are also in a flood zone,” Assistant Town Manager Ed Parvin said.

Parvin says they will not know if and when the businesses can rebuild until they figure out the extent of the damage.

“It’s still too early to tell,” Parvin said. “There may be portions that have to be taken down and maybe portions that can stay.”

Investigators still say the fire does not look suspicious.

Officials say affected business owners are meeting tomorrow to assess the damage.

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