Fire Downtown

Has anyone heard about the massive fire downtown that destroyed a Quizno’s, a tattoo parlor, and the Khatmandu shop? It’s on the corner of Orange and Pine. From what the nice barista at Guinevere’s (excuse me, DMAC) told my friends and I, it happened at 5am this morning. The buildings were destroyed, and the Blue Room suffered smoke damage. The “Orlando Sentinel” has more details.

On our way to Sak Comedy Lab, my friends and I went down the street to check it out. The block is cordoned off by police tape. And when I say the building is destroyed, I’m not kidding. The fire burned it down, and then the city demolished it. Inside the building’s shell was a massive pile of bricks and debris, still smoking in one spot. If there had been a ceiling left, the debris would’ve reached it. A huge crane sat astride the pile, grabbing mounds of debris and dropping them several yards over, near the wall of the building next door. We watched for awhile. The crane built a little mountain of debris, then climbed it and started knocking out the remaining upper bricks of the Quiznos building. I really, REALLY wish I’d had a camera on me. It was a surreal scene. One of my friends remarked that it felt like we were at a Universal Studios attraction. We had to leave shortly thereafter to make our show, so we didn’t get to see the rest of the building come down. A small crowd had gathered by that time, though.

Definitely surreal. I’m curious as to what actually caused the fire. Bad wiring? Stove left on? Some dude standing behind me said he’d heard a bomb had done it. Dunno about that, though. Arson? Many possibilities…

9 Comments so far

  1. The Masked Blogger (unregistered) on February 20th, 2005 @ 11:21 am

    Blog Girl and I arrived at the Farmer’s Market on Central and Magnolia at 8am Saturday and saw the fire trucks in the area, but we didn’t hear about what was going on until Mayor Dyer spoke at the OLA festival around 10:30. Then when we got home we saw the film of the fire on the news.

    We heard arson was a possibility, and that the building went up so quickly because it was wood. Fortunately, it seems so far, no lives were lost.


  2. David July (unregistered) on February 20th, 2005 @ 3:40 pm

    That is really unfortunate. I know several tattoo artists that worked Lasting Image and the owner/staff of Kathmandu. Not to mention the fact that the building is one of the few “historic” structures Orlando has to offer.


  3. Jenn (unregistered) on February 20th, 2005 @ 6:14 pm

    I work right near there and thanks, I had not heard about it as of until now. Excellent reporting Vanessa. I’ll have to check it out. It’s a shame, now we have yet another eyesore for our City Beautiful.


  4. Kathy (unregistered) on February 21st, 2005 @ 12:11 pm

    I heard that the Quinos has been closed for 2 weeks and the owner is no where to be found, hmmmmmm…. Other than that I am still waiting to hear too.


  5. Kathy (unregistered) on February 21st, 2005 @ 12:12 pm

    I heard that the Quinis has been closed for 2 weeks and the owner is no where to be found, hmmmmmm…. Other than that I am still waiting to hear too.


  6. Patrick Dignon (unregistered) on February 21st, 2005 @ 9:12 pm

    I worked at Lasting Image tattoo, as one of the tattoo artists. I was at home when it happened, thankfully everyone was out of the building bu that time but it breaks my heart to see it go. I dont know if the land lord plans on rebuilding but if he does he said we’re more then welcome to have a spot. I firmly believe quiznos had something to do with this. I’ll be working at Mystic and our other Lasting Image shop on colonial near bumby as well as the other artists from the downtownshop.


  7. Patrick Dignon (unregistered) on February 21st, 2005 @ 9:14 pm

    colonial shop 407-896-6499


  8. Vanessa (unregistered) on February 22nd, 2005 @ 6:41 pm

    David – Yes, that building went up in 1901. I, too, hate that one of our historic structures is gone.

    Patrick – Good to hear that no one was hurt or killed, and that you’ve found work elsewhere. Just out of curiosity, why do you think Quiznos had something to do with it?


  9. Patrick Dignon (unregistered) on February 25th, 2005 @ 11:34 pm

    I believe the manager is responsible for arson not the quiznos itself. he was in trouble with the IRS an I figured they probably burned it down to collect on the insurance money to cover thier debt. they vacated 2 weeks before it burns down and the manager is nowere to be found? but I sure hope they catch him.



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