At approximately 2:30AM this past Monday, flames rose from the Wekiwa Island Bar as the popular community hangout destination along the Wekiwa River bank burned to the ground. As of this moment, fire marshals and other officials believe a malfunctioning power strip was the cause, sparking a flame when no one was around to stop it from spreading.
According to Seminole County Fire Rescue officials, the fire was first noticed by a nearby driver who saw and smelled the smoke. They quickly drove to the location’s gate, where the 2,000-ft wooden structure had been almost entirely engulfed by the fire. Firefighters arrived at 2:35AM and extinguished the fire within minutes. Fortunately, the bar was the only building to catch fire, while the surrounding food truck, picnic area, and environmental center all remained untouched.
Bar owner, Bill Weinaug reminisced on the business, which he had owned for four years, stating, “It’s a family place where people can enjoy themselves. It’s a beautiful place where the community can come. We’re working on that dream, so it’s a pretty good setback.” He went on to say that a comeback is in the works. This all happened shortly after the bar had been remodeled to be more sustainable. The bar, located in Longwood, Seminole County was not the first establishment in this area to go up in flames. In 1999, Alexander’s Restaurant, which was located in virtually the same exact place was set ablaze. Again in 2005, the Wekiwa Marina building sustained heavy damage from a fire.