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Alys Beach Commercial Structure Fire

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August 28, 2023 | FLORIDA Mackenzie McClintock, Correspondent
This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

ALYS BEACH, Fla. --- South Walton firefighters responded to a commercial structure fire in Alys Beach Monday night, where the actions of restaurant employees ensured the fire was extinguished quickly.

The incident originated at 7:30 p.m. when employees at The Citizen at Alys Beach called 911 reporting smoke and flames in the kitchen. The individuals then pulled the building’s fire alarm, which alerted occupants to immediately exit the building.

South Walton Fire District’s (SWFD) Station 1 crews arrived on-scene at 7:35 p.m. and found the fire had started in the first-floor kitchen, then traveled through the ceiling and onto the roof of the four-story building.

Firefighters secured a water supply and crews then worked simultaneously on the first and fourth floors to overhaul and extinguish signs of fire. SWFD also utilized a drone to assist its incident command with overhaul operations and provide visibility of the crews working on the roof.

No injuries were reported. Approximately 30 total SWFD personnel responded to the scene. Firefighters also assisted in temporarily relocating individuals who were staying within The May residences (located above The Citizen) as a precaution.

The SWFD Fire Marshal investigated the incident and determined a failure of the kitchen hood exhaust system to be the most likely cause of the fire. The fire’s damage was limited to the kitchen area.

According to The Citizen at Alys Beach, staff will temporarily close the restaurant for repairs and reopen for lunch service on Thursday, August 29. Questions related to restaurant operations should be directed to The Citizen.

SWFD would like to thank the responding Walton County Sheriff’s Office deputies, Alys Beach Security, and The May/Citizen at Alys Beach’s staff for their assistance during the incident.

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Mackenzie McClintockCorrespondent

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