Officials said the fire got beneath the boardwalk, making it even more difficult to extinguish.

"It's underneath the boards, and it's coming up through the cracks," Koury said. "It's making it harder to get water on it."

Matthies said the businesses were primarily wood with tar roofs and shingles, which accelerated the fire.

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Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC

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