A fire burned Salty s Bar and Grill in Marathon and destroyed two boats at the Seven Mile Marina early today.
Sheriff s Office dispatchers fielded numerous calls at 3 a.m. from people reporting the fire. When deputies arrived, they found the restaurant fully engulfed. As fire units began arriving on scene, deputies stopped traffic north and southbound. According to reports, firefighters and equipment from four stations in the Marathon area responded; as many as seven trucks were putting water on the fire as it was burning.
By 4 a.m., firefighters reported they d knocked down the fire. At the same time, deputies and firefighters had to keep a close eye in the area of 11th Street as a heavy rain of embers was reportedly falling in that area.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was on hand in the waters offshore of the marina as they kept an eye on boats which had broken free of their moorings. Two boats were destroyed in the fire. A car in the parking lot of the restaurant also burned.
During the course of the fire, Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority assisted with water pressure so fire trucks would have enough water to fight the fire; Florida Keys Electric Co-op responded to cut electricity to the property; Amerigas also responded to assist with large propane tanks on the property.
At 5:30 a.m., deputies began to let traffic flow one lane at a time. Fortunately, there was very little traffic on the roadway at that time of the morning so few cars were backed up. The road was completely opened at 5:45 a.m.
County and State fire marshals responded and will be investigating the cause of the fire.