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Popular Sanibel restaurant temporarily closed due to fire

By Staff | Aug 8, 2022

SANIBEL FIRE AND RESCUE DISTRICT The Island Cow on Sanibel sustained extensive damage during a fire on Aug. 6. The restaurant is currently closed. Officials reported that the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The Island Cow on Sanibel is closed after a weekend fire caused extensive damage to it.

The Sanibel Fire and Rescue District reported that on Aug. 6 at 10:42 p.m., crews received a call from dispatch about a possible fire at the restaurant on Periwinkle Way. Upon their arrival, firefighters discovered heavy smoke billowing out from the building. Crews quickly took action and immediately made entry into the restaurant in an attempt to quickly extinguish the flames.

Upon entering the building, the crews deemed that it was too dangerous to continue with their current plan of action, the district continued. Firefighters existed the restaurant and began fighting the fire from the exterior. After several hours, crews were able to extinguish the flames.

The district noted that no injuries were reported.

On Aug. 7, Sanibel fire crews arrived first thing in the morning to assess the damage to the building and continue with any firefighting operations. The district reported that while on scene, smoke was observed coming from the structure. No additional new flames were discovered during the day.

The Island Cow is closed due to the extensive fire damage.

The district added that the cause of the fire is under investigation.

The public has been asked to avoid the restaurant and use caution if in the area.

“Island Cow has been a staple restaurant for residents and visitors alike. It is a sad day to see such a landmark destroyed by fire,” Fire Chief William “Bill” Briscoe said. “Our firefighters did all we could to save the building, but we are grateful no one was inside the building and all resources on scene safely extinguished the flames.”

“I would also like to personally thank all local resources that arrived on scene to help with this fire,” he added.

In addition to the Sanibel fire district, the Sanibel Police Department, Bayshore Fire Protection and Rescue Service District, Bonita Springs Fire Control and Rescue District, Captiva Island Fire Control District, Fort Myers Beach Fire Control District, Iona McGregor Fire District and South Trail Fire Protection and Rescue Service District responded to the scene.

Island Cow owners Brian and Elke Podlasek provided a statement.

“Island Cow is currently closed following a fire that started in our kitchen after we had closed for the evening. Thankfully, no one was injured, and we are committed to renovating and reopening as quickly as possible,” they said. “On behalf of our Island Cow family, we want to thank everyone for their ongoing support while we close temporarily for repairs.”

The Island Cow is at 2163 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.