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Fire delays opening of Shore Restaurant

STEVE REID
Editor & Publisher
sreid@lbknews.com

The Shore Restaurant, located on the north end of Longboat Key, broke out in flames at 9:44 p.m. on Oct. 24 and the cause may be a petroleum-based wood finishing liquid that was applied throughout the day to the ceiling.

Longboat Key, West Manatee and Sarasota County Fire Departments all arrived on the scene to find the under-construction restaurant at 800 Broadway ablaze with a “heavy fire” in the entrance and engulfing the wooden ceiling. It took a four-minute response time for the first units to arrive.

The restaurant was slated to open in November and replaces Moore’s Stone Crab, which operated for more than four decades at the site.

Because of the presence of an accelerant, likely the liquid applied to the wood ceiling, the State Fire Marshal and investigative dog were brought to the scene.

Longboat Key Fire Chief Paul Dezzi said the investigation will help determine the origin of the fire as well as the cause and it could take up to one month to complete.

A trash can was found near the entrance that may have contained rags with residue and was completely burned.

Dezzi said that the ceiling, some support structures and some interior work will have to be replaced, but that the fundamental of the structure is built to an extremely high standard and was unaffected.

Dezzi also said that there appears to be no trail or pattern to the accelerant and that the investigation is routine because any time an accelerant is found it is mandated by protocol.

Dezzi reported that the initial fire crews stretched two hose lines and quickly extinguished the body of fire at the entrance and extended rooms. The fire was brought under control within 30 minutes by the 20 firefighters that were called to the scene.

After the investigation was complete on Friday, the property was turned back over to the owners.

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