On New Year’s Eve 2009, a large fire broke out at the Tiki Bar, caused by a cigarette that was thrown onto the tiki bar thatched roof from the upper floor balcony of the resort.
The flames became trapped underneath the roof of the main hotel building and it took firefighters 18 hours to fully extinguish the flames, causing extensive fire, smoke and water damage to the 4 story hotel.
The entire main lodge of the popular Islamorada Resort was evacuated. ServiceMaster by Glenn’s was brought in shortly after the fire to take over the operations from another restoration company that was initially brought in.
ServiceMaster immediately began setting up large generators, desiccant dehumidifiers, and several hundred air movers to begin drying the 50,000 sf building envelope that contained restaurants, the main lobby, and multiple guest rooms. Water extraction and demolition activities began immediately as well in order to save as much of the structure as possible. ServiceMaster was on site for five weeks performing selective demolition and keeping the building under climate and humidity control to prevent mold growth under the guidance of the building owner’s structural engineer and hygienist team.
After further inspection and the discovery of multiple building issues, and the presence of asbestos and other outdated building materials used, it was determined that the entire building be demolished. The resort was closed for one year to allow for the new main lodge to be rebuilt.