Officials Deem Blaze 'Electric in Origin'
Fire spokesman says smoke smell was overlooked.
People inside Knot on Main Street could smell smoke for some time before flames were spotted, a Dunedin fire spokesman said.
“It was initially overlooked,” Dunedin Fire Division Chief Bill McElligott said.
It’s at that point, he said, he wished they’d called 9-1-1.
“We’d much rather come out and reassure you than have the latter happen,” he said.
Instead, they ran next door to Dunedin Auto Sales, where building owner Bob O’Connell was working at the time.
O’Connell brought over a fire extinguisher and attempted to put out the flames.
It was too little too late.
Fire crews closed down Bayshore Boulevard while they battled for nearly three hours to extinguish the multi-alarm blaze that Wednesday afternoon. The 55-year-old structure suffered about $150,000 in damages, lost an estimated $600,000 in contents and displaced about 50 vendors.
Dunedin fire officials deemed the June 8 blaze electrical in origin.
McElligott said damage at the popular antiques and furniture consignment business was extensive enough that investigators were unable to isolate the fire’s source.
He said as a safety measure, he hopes all businesses will have their building checked for overloaded, out-of-date or faulty wiring.
“It’s a great idea to have an electrician go through your business,” McElligott said.