Firefighters find smoldering rags in kitchen of concession at Siesta Public Beach Park, preventing blaze

Incident reported on Dec. 27

The concession/restaurant facility at Siesta Beach Park is shown in the upper image on this graphic. Image courtesy Sarasota County

A quick response by the Sarasota County Fire Department appears to have prevented what could have been a major structure fire at Siesta Public Beach shortly before the end of 2023, county records show.

At 9:01 p.m. on Dec. 27, Fire Station 13 — which is adjacent to the county beach park — received an alarm about a building fire in the park. It took only 4 minutes for the crew to reach the scene, the Fire Department report showed.

Seeing no signs of smoke or flames on three sides of the two-story structure encompassing the beach concession/restaurant, and observing no hazards on a 360-degree observation of the structure, the report said, firefighters used a key supplied by Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office personnel to enter the building and then search it.

The report did note that the crew detected a “[l]ight smell of smoke in the building.”

The kitchen area of the concession was locked, the report continued, so the crew had to wait about 10 minutes for a person with a key to arrive on the scene. With no definitive sign of an emergency, the report indicated, the firefighters did not want to have to “force entry” into the kitchen.

After getting the key to proceed inside, the report added, firefighters found “a tall garbage can … smoldering with oily kitchen rags.” They took the bucket outside “and sprayed [it] with water. Then firefighters also opened the roll-up doors to provide ventilation to the kitchen, the report pointed out.

No property damage was cited as a result of the incident.

Siesta Beach Eats is the concessionaire, as shown on Facebook. The business is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Facebook page notes.

Along with the crew from Station 13, the report showed, engines were called in initially from Stations 11 and 14, as well. It took 40 minutes for the situation to be declared under control, the report added.

The last unit cleared the scene at 10:17 p.m., the report said.