July 16, 2011
Two downtown businesses were destroyed in a fiery blaze at 322 Fifth Street around 12 p.m., on July 16, 2011.
It took about four hours to get the “stubborn fire” at the commercial structure under control, he said.
About 60 firefighters responded to battle the blaze, after smoke and flames were seen coming from the roof, said Sgt. Robert Smith.
Late Friday morning, about a dozen firefighters remained, hitting hotspots that continued to be problematic, Youmans said.
Construction crews from the township and Ocean County were preparing to demolish the remaining portions of the structure, which housed Classy Cleaners as well as the Just Four Wheels car rental agency.
“It was a tough fire,” Youmans said. “We had a roof collapse” during the firefighting efforts, he said.
The general alarm fire brought out all five Lakewood fire companies, as well as Brick, Howell, and Point Pleasant fire companies.
The American Red Cross Jersey Coast Chapter and Salvation Army responded to support the emergency responders.
The Ocean County fire marshals, Ed Hazelton and Michael Marks, are investigating, as well as members of the county prosecutor’s office and the county Sheriff’s Department’s criminal investigators.
The cause remains under investigation, officials said.
What we know today
- Menashe Miller’s father has been a חברותא of Mr. Goldblatt’s father for many years.
- Menashe miller coincidentally happened to be a block away when the fire started at 12 AM at night.
- Goldblatt & Menashe have been partners long before this incident. Goldblatt was acting as an unofficial stock broker. He would buy shares for investors and would take a percentage of the profits. Menashe would bring him new clients and would get a cut in the deal. Menashe himself invested with him. The investors, including Menashe were not payed back and Mr. Goldblatt had to come up with cash asap.
- Menashe was a secret partner in Classy Cleaners; it was fully registered under goldblatt’s name for all legal purposes
- The fire started it out in four different places simultaneously.
- The DA’s office believes ‘someone’ ignited this fire on purpose, so he may file a hefty insurance claim. Due to the Ocean County Office of the Prosecutor’s policy regarding ongoing fire investigations, they will not release any records to the public.