NewsSarasota, Manatee County


No injuries reported after 2 fires in Venice mobile home community; clubhouse sustains extensive damage

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Posted at 8:44 AM, Mar 15, 2023

VENICE, Fla. — Cellphone video shot by Ben Fuschino shows a massive clubhouse fire and the moment when the roof collapsed.

Fuschino and his wife, Angie Menard, live just across the street from the clubhouse in the Bay Indes Mobile Home Community.

They woke up to the sound of loud explosions just after 5 a.m.

“My whole sunroom was lit up, and I came running out and said, 'The Bay House is on fire!'” said Menard.

They called 911 and then made sure their neighbors were awake.

“She ran over there. I ran here to the corner house. And then we made some phone calls to people we know in the park just to wake them up in case some embers started other stuff,” said Fuschino.

An ember did start a fire on a mobile home that appears to have caused some roof damage. But no one there or at the clubhouse was hurt.

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People here said the clubhouse is a central part of the community. They had church services, a library, pool tables and meeting spaces.

“We are very hopeful that they’ll start to clean up and rebuild as soon as possible,” said Menard.

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“I think it’s going to be quite a while. I’ve heard the houses they had to tear down because of the hurricane, they won’t be able to replace them until 2025,” said BJ Mackie.

Fire crews spent most of the day spraying water on hot spots that remain.

Officials still have not said what might have caused the fire.