KISSIMMEE, Fla. - A family’s dream to open a restaurant and start serving the public this week is on hold after a fire tore through the building Sunday ahead of its Tuesday opening.
No one was hurt, but there was significant damage to the Tres Amigos restaurant on Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, which took months to get ready for its opening.
The two-alarm fire broke out around 11:30 a.m.
“I was in shock. All that hard work going out to the trash. It’s heartbreaking,” said the owner’s son, Juan Zendejas.
Zendejas said he stood numb, watching the flames tear through the roof of his family’s new restaurant.
“We come here from 8 in the morning until 12 at night,” he said.
Crews from Osceola County Fire Rescue, along with the cities of Kissimmee and St. Cloud, battled the fire from both sides of the building to knock it out.
In the end, fire officials blamed the faulty wiring connected to a neon sign on the roof.
“It’s got such a hard amount of power that goes through it. Such a large amount of power that it actually shorted itself out, which kind of ignites the areas around it,” said Deputy Chief of Osceola County Fire Rescue Daniel McAvoy.
As firefighters worked, Juan tweeted about the family’s tough loss of more than $200,000.
He said he and his family are grateful the quick work from the multi-agency effort salvaged not just the structure, but also their dream.
Firefighters told the family the building wasn’t a total loss and could be salvaged.
There are a number of adjoining businesses, but officials said the restaurant is the only one involved in the fire.