What to Know
- A fire broke out early Thursday morning on the Hollywood Beach broadwalk
- At least six restaurants were damaged, with Little Venice Pizza Restaurant seeing significant damage
- So far, no injuries have been reported, and the cause of the fire is being investigated
Authorities are investigating a fire that burned multiple Hollywood Beach restaurants early Thursday morning.
Officials said that the fire broke out some time before 5 a.m. and beachgoers alerted firefighters and first responders to the scene on the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk.
"They found two restaurants fully involved and at that time they began an attack and called a second alarm. The main body of the fire was knocked down within 10 to 15 minutes," Hollywood Deputy Fire Chief Analdy Garcia said.
Chopper footage showed severe damage in the properties of several restaurants on the broadwalk, including Little Venice Pizza Restaurant.
La Brochetterie, Blue Wave, Hollywood Grill, At Peru Restaurant and Ocean Alley also appeared to have been affected by the incident.
At Peru owner Marcela Caramillo said six employees are without a job for now.
"There are a lot of things that are happening already to restaurant businesses in this pandemic and just let’s pray for better days," Caramillo said. "We don’t know when we’re gonna go back to business again. We don’t know.”
“My heart goes out to all the owners. I know it’s really hard especially after coronavirus, we barely made it through the coronavirus and now this," Blue Wave owner Jorge Aller said. “Just rebuild and get stronger. That’s what we do."
The Broadwalk is a place where friends Cynthia Cross and Joanne Polukort meet up to go for a walk and have dinner a couple times a week.
“Every night we come down here to walk,” Cross said. “I frequent Ocean Alley and Little Venice for the last 40 years, and it’s just a shame.”
Even businesses that weren’t impacted feel the loss. Hasan Kochan owns Istanbul Restaurant about one block away. He says some of the restaurants like Little Venice have been on the Broadwalk for decades.
“Little Venice has been there a very long time,” Kochan said. “I would say at least 25 years.”
The charred, soggy mess caught some tourists like Chris and Carl Groeschen off guard.
“We’re just sad to see what happened over here and sad for the owners and hope that they recover soon so we can come back and actually enjoy it,” Chris Groeschen said.
No injuries were initially reported. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
"The fire is under investigation by our fire prevention bureau and the state fire marshall’s office," Garcia said.