FMB fire department has enough room to get through Times Square

Published: Updated:

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.- A WINK News exclusive and a fight that’s threatening beach businesses. The fire marshal showed WINK News today what he says is proof firefighters can get through in an emergency, without making restaurants get rid of tables.

“It was interesting…” said Fort Myers Beach Vice Mayor Dan Andre as he watched our video. “I mean Estero Boulevard, the lanes are 10 feet wide, so a truck’s got to fit through that.”

Since our story first aired Monday about talk of restaurants being forced to clear out tables to make more room for emergency workers, the fire marshal says, he’s been getting calls and he says, he doesn’t need all that room.

“We have more than enough access to fight a fire or respond to a medical emergency in Times Square,” said Captain Ron Martin.

Only WINK News was there as the fire department drove one of their fire trucks the entire length of the area, lined with tables and chairs right where they would be on a busy night, without a single problem.

“It’s encouraging knowing if an issue came up that they could get through,” said Jan Burnquist, server of Plakas Greek Restaurant.

The Fire Marshal says Times Square was developed before many of the current codes were put in place and says the current 16 feet wide is plenty.

So today, with businesses worried and even the Fire Marshal saying…

“No, we are not in any type of violation with allowing Times Square seating and arrangement to remain as it is now.”

We asked the vice mayor why they’re trying to change what no one else says is broken and found out they might not change a thing.

“It’s my understanding it’s their discretion how wide a walkway is they need through times square,” said Andre.

The Public Works department says the fire department must write a letter stating the town is allowed to deviate from the fire code.Β  The department will be working on that letter. The council will get to make the final say.

Copyright Β©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.