The rebuilding of the fire-ravaged Crumps Landing Waterfront Tiki has begun and so have efforts to help the 139 employees who worked at the Homosassa bar.
Crumps Landing officials issued a statement Monday through Michael Wilburn, their engineer.
“The Crumps Landing family appreciates the thoughts and prayers from the community which has rallied around us during this unfortunate event,” the statement said. “We are hopeful, optimistic and have resolved to restore Crumps Landing entirely as it was — a picturesque destination for people from all over to come and enjoy.”
A fire broke out close to noon Saturday and was believed to have started from a mobile cooking trailer that spread to the thatch roof of the restaurant's main tiki hut at 11210 W. Halls River Road.
Citrus County Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Keith Long said Monday the large tiki burned along with the bathroom area adjacent to it. There was no damage to the gift shop or little bar by the river, he said.
The Florida State Fire Marshal continues to investigate and should have an official report out in the next two weeks, Long said.
Patrons evacuated quickly from the restaurant and nobody was hurt from the fire.
“Our highest priority is to our employees and their families and getting them back to work as soon as possible,” according to the Crumps’ statement. “Two-thirds of our seating/facility is intact, and this seating space will be utilized as soon as it is safe to do so.”
The rebuilding of the fire-damaged large dining area will begin once proper permits are obtained.
Meanwhile the Citrus County Chamber of Commerce plans to help Crumps employees through its partnership with CareerSource, said Ardath Prendergast, the chamber’s manager of operations and communications.
CareerSource has its Reemployment and Emergency Assistance Coordination Team designed to minimize the impacts of layoffs and dislocations on workers, businesses and communities.
“We will certainly reach out to CareerSource to see how we can assist them, even if it’s for temporary jobs while they’re rebuilding,” Prendergast said. “We will certainly be there for them.”