Local restaurant explodes due to possible gas leak, officials say

[Submitted by Ocala Fire Rescue]

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Posted June 24, 2023 | By Caroline Brauchler

No injuries were reported after a Pine Avenue restaurant exploded due to a possible gas leak, officials say.

Ocala Fire Rescue reported to the scene of the Jugo Café Tropical smoothie restaurant Friday evening after a structure fire was reported, according to OFR spokesperson Ashley Lopez.

“As units made their way to the scene, (a) passerby reported that the structure exploded. Units arrived, within two minutes, to find a commercial structure covered in smoke and flames,” according to Lopez.

After the fire was put out, the structure was confirmed to be vacant and no injuries were reported.

Investigators are working to identify the cause of the gas explosion. Both northbound and southbound lanes have since reopened, according to the Ocala Police Department.

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