‘Completely destroyed’: Madeira beach restaurant owner burned to death in wildlife center

MADERIAH BEACH, FL (TodayNews) — New information has emerged regarding a devastating fire at the Alligator and Wildlife Research Center on Madeira Beach.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said between 50 and 100 animals were killed. Detectives believe the fire is not inherently suspicious.

Now at least ten enterprises are putting things in order and trying to figure out what will happen next.

“I found out about the fire by watching Channel 8,” said Tina Sullivan, the business owner.

Sullivan owns two businesses in the village of Jones Pass, with the Alligator Wildlife and Discovery Center in between.

“My business was completely destroyed,” she said.

Sullivan has owned Beach Bites & Burgers since 2017. Surveillance video shows her restaurant filling with smoke. The drywall needs to be pulled out and the whole place needs to be gutted, in addition to repairing water damage.

“There are also people that I have affected,” Sullivan said. “I have all my employees, I just had a really great group of employees and now they’re all out of work.”

Not only was Sullivan’s restaurant affected, but also her arcade.

“Strong smoke, yesterday I couldn’t breathe there either,” she said.

July is Sullivan’s busiest month, but it will now be at least six months before she’s up and running. This fire is now affecting her livelihood.

“It was a traumatic experience for all of us here and in this little area right here, but the rest of the pass is open so get out and enjoy the rest of the pass,” she said.

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