Morning blaze destroys Margaritaville

SANDUSKY The palm trees are still standing at Margaritaville, but little else is left after a fire e
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

SANDUSKY

The palm trees are still standing at Margaritaville, but little else is left after a fire early Wednesday morning.

The restaurant was sold two months ago, and new owner Bob Crawford of Fremont had recently reopened the local favorite under new management.

"We have no immediate plans right now. The whole thing is gone," said Patti Kirsch, speaking on behalf of Crawford.

Kirsch added it would take at least six months to be prepared to reopen.

The dining portion and kitchen are a total loss, said fire Chief Mike Meinzer. The deck portion was not affected by the blaze.

Meinzer estimates the damage to the property is at least $250,000-$300,000.

Margaret Rudolph, director of Erie County Human Resources, alerted the State Highway Patrol's Sandusky post to the fire at the 212 Fremont Ave. restaurant and bar at 5:48 a.m. Smoke was pouring from the front doorway and billowing out of the roof of the property's primary structure.

Sandusky Fire Department responded with a crew of 12 firefighters, an ambulance and three engines.

Mutual aid from Margaretta and Perkins Township fire department also assisted in controlling the blaze, said Paul Ricci, assistant fire chief.

Firefighters put the blaze out in about 30 minutes, Battalion Chief Mike Yost said.

Fire investigators almost immediately traced the fire to an electrical panel inset in a wall near an ice machine. An electrician was on site Monday evening to make repairs to the panel, and the work was not 100 percent complete on Monday, Meinzer said. The breaker panel will be sent to a lab for testing to confirm it was the source of the fire.