Fire in Fort Myers Beach building undergoing renovations

Reporter: Jolena Esperto Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

Large plumes of smoke and flames from the fire over the weekend in a building undergoing renovations and Monday night it’s raising concerns on Fort Myers Beach.

WINK News talked with a contractor and engineer who said it’s critical that property owners and their work crews follow all of the guidelines. They get all the necessary permits and then have an electrician inspect the work. And there is plenty of work o be done on Fort Myers Beach.

Paul Williams and his crew have worked on the Bay to Beach Resort on Fort Myers Beach since Hurricane Ian wrecked the place.

The first thing crews need to do is find out what started the fire. Williams told WINK News the first place to look is the electrical system, even though there was no power on the roof.

“The biggest risk is, if the saltwater intrusion actually got to the electrical system, the ones that actually went underwater or a surge came through our first floor up here was, the storm surge came through the entire first habitable floor,” Williams said.

Williams hired an expert to do the work for that.

“There’s going to be another structural inspection, especially after they do a little more cleanup up here. Then we’re going to produce a report. Give it to Paul. He turns it into the fire chief,” Tony Stofko the vice president of Meca Engineering said.

Scott Wirth the Fort Myers Beach Fire Chief of Operations told WINK News he believes the fire is accidental and likely electrical. But the investigation isn’t over yet.

“The damage is less than what it appeared from how billowing the smoke was and everything else,” Williams said.

Both experts said it’s vital to have an electrician inspect all the work. The fire damage was contained to the roof thanks to the quick response by the Fort Myers Beach Fire Department.

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