NewsRegion Indian River CountyVero Beach


Fire destroys nearly 100 golf carts in Vero Beach

Posted at 7:15 PM, Sep 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-03 19:17:34-04

VERO BEACH, Fla. -  Investigators are working to determine what sparked a raging inferno that burned through Golf Carts of Vero Beach.

Tim Burklew got the call around 8 a.m. Sunday his livelihood was being destroyed by fire.
"The flames were 20-30 feet high and the smoke was billowing out from all four doors," said Burklew, who added the plastic and rubber helped fuel the fire.
Burklew has been in business for 20 years repairing and customizing golf carts. He started the company in New York and opened the business in Vero Beach in 2012.

"I guess it could be worse, somebody could have gotten hurt, I don't know," said Burklew, as he was choking back tears.

One day after the fire ignited, Burklew was trying to comprehend how to move forward. 
"We have close to 90 - 100 carts in here," he said.
Inside the shop is widespread devastation. Nuts and bolt boxes were melted over, six-inch beams bowed and some carts were completely destroyed.
"With us being closed, we don't have the income and the profit weekly to pay for our staff, and that's families that count on us to feed them every week," Burklew said.
It is believed the fire started near a charging station for lithium batteries, but the cause remains under investigation.

Burklew has insurance, but it will only cover about 50% of the inventory.
"We'll rectify everything to every single customer," he said. "There's a silver lining somewhere, and we'll find that silver lining someday, but not today...not tomorrow...someday."

Burklew plans to rebuild, but likely not in the same location. A fundraising page has been set up to help benefit his employees.
If you would like to help, click here.  

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