Malfunctioning air conditioning unit prompts Fire Department response at Beach Club in Siesta Village

As was the case earlier this year with two other Village businesses owned by Chris Brown, no structural damage reported

The red balloon marks the location of the Beach Club in Siesta Village. Image from Google Maps

This week, for the third time since the last week of February, Sarasota County firefighters prevented what could have been a destructive fire at a Siesta Key Village business owned by Chris Brown of Osprey, The Sarasota News Leaderhas learned.

In response to an alarm at 7:32 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11, firefighters were dispatched to the Beach Club, which stands at 5151 Ocean Blvd., near the four-way stop in Siesta Village, the Fire Department report says. Firefighters were on the scene by 7:41 p.m., the report points out.

The 911 Dispatch operator told fire officials that a caller had reported smoking coming through the vents in the ceiling of the club and that the business was being evacuated, the report adds.

When the crew of Engine 11 arrived at the Beach Club, the report continues, firefighters saw no sign of a problem from the exterior. Upon further investigation, the report notes, crew members with Engine 11 and Rescue 13 — the latter, from the fire station on Siesta Key — “reported a light haze with an electrical odor from the interior.”

After the power was shut off to the single-story building, the report says, further investigation found that an air conditioning “unit on the roof had malfunctioned and [was] showing signs of overheating.” Power to the unit was shut off at a rooftop panel, the report adds. A comment at the end of the report notes that crew members “found burnt wires inside [the] air handler.”

The business manager was notified, the report adds.

This is the interior of the Beach Club. Image from the business’ website

“No other problems found and all hazards mitigated,” the report says.

No structural damage was indicated in the report.

The last unit cleared the scene at 8:13 p.m., the report adds.

Altogether, the Fire Department dispatched five fire suppression units, with 14 firefighters; two EMS units, with four firefighters/paramedics; and three command vehicles with one officer each, the report indicates.

The formal owner of the Beach Club is 5151 Beach Club of Sarasota LLC, Sarasota County Property Appraiser Office records show; Brown’s home address is listed with the company name. Brown is the manager of the limited liability company, while his wife is listed in the Florida Division of Corporations record as an “authorized member” of the company.

The Property Appraiser’s Office records note that Brown bought the Beach for $3,725,000 in early August 2006.

On May 8, report of a possible fire at Brown’s restaurant The Cottage, brought firefighters to its location at 153 Avenida Messina, as the News Leader wrote. That alarm was sounded at 6:19 p.m. that day.

Firefighters learned that an exterminator, Luis Mercado — who had called in the incident — had seen “light smoke” in the kitchen when he came into the business to treat it, that report explained.

Firefighters ended up finding a small fire beneath a refrigerator, the report said. No structural damage resulted from that situation, either, the report added.

Before that incident, on Feb. 26, firefighters were dispatched to Brown’s Summer House restaurant, which is adjacent to The Cottage. In that situation, a fire had begun beneath a fish tank, but it was extinguished without any structural damage, as well.