The most significant entry that should be made to begin this month of July in the year 2011 is undeniably a 'Farmer's Almanac' type of content: more specifically, an entry to emphasize that it was at the beginning of this month that our region finally began to receive some much needed rain to help abate the persistent threat of brush fires that has plagued the entire area. Thank you very much, dear Mother Nature!
A gastronomical institution in Atlantic Beach for many years, the Seafood Kitchen (located at Atlantic Boulevard and Royal Palms Drive) became the first prominent structure fire of the month when units responded to the report of smoke visible along the building's rooftop just before the midnight hour on 12 July. Although on scene crews diligently searched for a possible point of origin, the aforementioned furtively hidden somewhere within the walls of the establishment, the stubborn threat remained concealed for quite some time thus requiring an almost complete dismantling of the kitchen in order to deliver a successful mitigation. As a result, the damage estimates proved to be quite substantial at over $50,000 with the cause still under investigation.
Friday morning, the 29th of July and just before 8 AM, Fire/Rescue Communications received a call from a passing motorist that smoke could be seen snaking along the roofline of the 'Gentleman's Club' known as 'Bottomz Up' located at 3909 Blanding Boulevard. Among the first units arriving on scene and confirming that smoke was visible from the well over 5,000 square foot building was Engine 25, with that crew immediately forcing entry through the front door located on the northside of the building. Once inside, the firefighters discovered a working fire primarily around the DJ Booth located in close proximity to the entrance. Although that fire was promptly extinguished, smoke continued to creep along the entire length of the roof creating the illusion of potential multiple sets of fire heads present. Command soon learned that the visible metal peak roof was a re-roofing project covering up the older, flat roof, with A/C units along that older roof along with several holes cut into the same in order for duct work to drop into various locations of the interior. Combining fans and booster lines throughout the length of the roof soon brought each and every problem to light and resulted in an extinguishment of the fire in less than an hour. The follow-up investigation revealed an electrical problem within the area of the DJ Booth as the cause of the incident.