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‘It’s a sad day’ Sanibel Community hurt over fire at iconic restaurant

SANIBEL ISLAND, Fla.  — A restaurant that is loved by many on Sanibel Island is now temporarily closed after it caught fire.

In a statement, the owners of the Island Cow said the fire started in the kitchen. No one was injured but the community is still saddened by the news.

The Island Cow is a staple in the Sanibel Community, serving millions of customers over the past 20 years, now that hospitality is on pause until the restaurant can be prepared.

“You think okay, is that real or not,” said the Mayor of Sanibel Island Holly Smith.”It’s a sad day, this is an iconic establishment here on the island.”

Yellow tape now blocks the public from the iconic and beloved restaurant that once had its doors open to visitors from all over.

“This is a place where everyone loves to come and enjoy,” Mayor Smith said. “It’s really difficult. I received word very early this morning.”

After hearing the news of the Island Cow catching fire, Mayor Smith came to see for herself and show support to the owners.

Sanibel Fire and Rescue told us that around 11 pm Saturday night they were called to the restaurant. When they arrived they were met with flames which caused crews to rush out of the building because it wasn’t safe as the fire quickly grew.

“It’s a little disheartening because I was just starting to make friends through my work,” Brooke Greciaeu, a new employee of the Island Cow.

Brooke Grecieau started that is Island Cow last week and just finished training. She was going to have her first shift on Wednesday.

“We’ve been coming here for 15 years and always enjoy island cow,” Grecieau said.

Brooke isn’t the only one who has fallen in love with the restaurant. On our social media and Island Cow’s, customers made posts talking about how much they love the restaurant.

According to the Island Cow’s official website, since 2001 the beloved restaurant has served more than 7 million customers.

“We are just very grateful there were certainly no injuries. This is a big deal to our community,” Mayor Smith said. “I have had countless calls, texts, and emails this morning [from people] wanting to know what they can do, and who they can help. Another main concern is the employees who served everybody every day with a smile. What’s going to happen to them and their livelihood right now?”.

The fire department still hasn’t told us the cause because it’s still early in the investigation. We did reach out to the owners and they aren’t ready to speak just yet.

Lowell Bowen

From the time he was 8 years old Lowell knew he wanted to be on TV. Well, as people say one thing leads to another, that's how Lowell started his career in the news industry. Lowell has been part of The South Florida Daily since the very beginning.

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