VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – About 48 hours after a fire started at 27th and Atlantic Avenue at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, firefighters set up again, extinguishing a hot spot.
75+ firefighters put out 3-alarm fire along Atlantic Avenue in Virginia Beach
The Assistant Fire Marshal for Virginia Beach Fire Department, Captain Jim Ingledue, said Thursday afternoon that he’s confident it was an accidental fire, but they are still working to find the point of origin and cause.
Business owners said there had been crews working on the roof earlier Tuesday, and Chief Ingledue confirmed that. However, he said there’s no reason to believe they used materials that would have caused the fire.
Owners react to businesses being ravaged by fire at Virginia Beach Oceanfront
Meanwhile, the owner of the property, Matthew Vakos, explained this isn’t just an investment; it’s his family’s history.
“My grandfather actually built that building back in the 60s,” Vakos explained.
He added, “Both restaurants have been there since I was a kid. I’ve got memories of going in there eating dinner or breakfast at 5, 6, 7 years old. So, it’s been a big part of my life, a big part of our family’s. The owners of Maple Tree are like family to me, and our hearts go out to them. We’re going to do everything we can to try and get through this.”
Vakos said he’s already been in touch with the City of Virginia Beach to find out when he could rebuild.
On Thursday, cleanup crews were just beginning what they said could be a lengthy process.
“I’d like to thank every one of the first responders,” added Vakos. “They did an incredible job, very organized, very brave."