Restaurant sustains 'heavy damage' in fire
An electrical fire shuttered the Brick City Oyster Bar Tuesday morning — a mere two months after the eatery's grand reopening.
Sanford firefighters battled the blaze for more than two hours after a passing motorist reported seeing flames shoot from the building, located at 1609 S. Horner Blvd., at 2:30 a.m., according to Sanford Fire Chief Wayne Barber.
"It's not a total loss, but it does have heavy damage inside," Barber said. "The wiring, machines, some walls and materials were damaged, and plus there is smoke damage over the entire building."
No injuries were reported, and the fire's origin is believed to be electrical, he said. The incident is still under investigation, and insurance agents will be reviewing the fire, Barber said. He added that foul play is not suspected at this time.
"The insurance company will take a look at it, and we will assist them when they come," he said.
David Upchurch, the property owner, said he got an early morning phone call from the restaurant owner and that he's been deeply disturbed about the fire.
"I was extremely upset when I drove out there," he said. "They allowed us to go in after the fire investigation, and it looked like the electrical panel had blown out and went up the wall."
Upchurch said he couldn't say when or if the restaurant will reopen, and the restaurant's owner, Charlie Pickard, could not be reached for comment.
The restaurant celebrated its grand reopening on Aug. 16, and the business has been open since 2012, according to its Facebook page.
The portion of South Horner Boulevard between Lee Avenue and Courtland Drive was closed for a few hours as firefighters worked Tuesday night. The department called in its three stations, along with all of its off-duty personnel to extinguish the fire.