The state fire marshal and Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms officers were in Miami this morning investigating a fire last night at the Barton G. warehouse at 400 NE 67th St. on the Upper Eastside. The blaze destroyed thousands of dollars' worth of linens and tables after the roof caved in. It was "one of the largest fires that we have had this year," says Miami Fire Rescue Lt. Ignatius Carroll.
No one was hurt in the blaze, but it might have done serious damage to one of the area's best restaurateurs just as the weather changes and the season begins. Barton G. recently moved offices from a location near NE 36th Street and Second Avenue to a place near the warehouse.
One of the geniuses of South Beach, where his 7-year-old restaurant has won national raves, he is also preparing a new venue, Prelude by Barton G., at the Arsht Center, where a prix fixe menu will go for $39. No word yet on whether the fire will affect the new venture.
Among the few local restaurateurs expanding in this down economy, Barton G. has shown fortitude. Riptide wishes him well and hopes there was no malfeasance involved in the fire. Miami Police this morning had nothing to say about the blaze.
Carroll says the fire was contained in one part of the warehouse, but there are gas dryers and other flammable material that could have caused significantly more damage. There were no sprinklers. Dozens of firefighters were cleaning up the site this morning.
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"We have no idea what caused this yet," Carroll says. "We'll have to remove the roof to get a better look."