Popular 50s-style Orlando diner destroyed in fire



ORLANDO, Fla. - A popular Orlando diner was destroyed by a fire, according to officials.

At about 3 a.m. Friday, the 5 & Diner on Colonial Drive went up in flames.

Matt Judge was one of the first witnesses at the scene.

“The whole back of the building was going up and it looked like the flames were going out. Every time the flames looked like they were going out, they would start up again even bigger; orange just flying from the whole top of the building,” said Judge.

Judge captured images of the flames on his phone as fire crews arrived.

“Fire broke out almost simultaneously on our arrival, having difficult access with that heavy decking on that roof,” said Battalion Chief Mark Smothers of Orange County Fire Rescue.

The clock atop the diner marks the final moments of the East Orange County staple, known for its 50s-style décor and wait staff in poodle skirts.

“To see the flames going through, it's kind of sad. Because it's always been here,” said witness Tramaine George.

Witnesses told WFTV they saw smoke pouring out of the building.

Some of the first calls came in from a hotel next door where the thick smoke woke up many of the guests.

“At first, you thought, maybe a brush fire or something like that, and then all the sudden the room is starting to get smokey and you look over and you see this massive plume of smoke happening,” said witness Mike Reilly.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, but firefighters said the business had been closed for the day for several hours before the reports of smoke came in.

The fire marshal spent part of the day investigating the fire, but did not release any findings.

There were no injuries reported.