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Explosion Claims Smoothie Restaurant in Ocala

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June 23, 2023 | FLORIDA OCALA FIRE RESCUE, Correspondent
This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

(OCALA, FL.) June 23, 2023 – On Friday, June 23, at approximately 7:32 p.m., Ocala Fire Rescue's Engines 1, 3, and 5, Rescues 1 and 3, Tower 1, and Battalion Chief 11 responded to reports of a structure fire at Jugo Cafe Tropical, 850 N Pine Ave.

As units made their way to the scene, passersby reported that the structure exploded.

Units arrived, within two minutes, to find a commercial structure covered in smoke and flames.

Engine 1 secured the gas line while Engine 3 began attacking the flames. Due to the limited visibility and compromised structural integrity, crews initiated a defensive attack - deploying multiple hose lines and fighting the fire from all sides.

Once the fire was knocked down, crews completed a primary search to ensure the building was vacant.

No injuries were reported.

The cause of the gas explosion is under investigation.

The Ocala Police Department, Ocala Electric Utilities, the Ocala Building Department, Marion County Fire Rescue, and TECO Gas Company also responded.

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