Twisted Pickle a ‘total loss’ after overnight fire

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — The manager and owner of a deli both stood shocked Tuesday, looking over the burned out ruins of the business they grew over a seven-year period.

“We’re going to rebuild somewhere in Indian River County,” Twisted Pickle Deli Manager Ali Stillman said.

Indian River County Fire Rescue crews said the sandwich shop and deli was engulfed in flames before dawn Tuesday. Battalion Chief David Kiernan said the deli is a “total loss.”

No injuries were reported and the building was unoccupied at the time of the fire, Kiernan said.

Stillman and deli owner Kimberly Phillips have received support from community members. The deli, which only offers take out, had a unique menu including pickle specialty subs, pickle salads and sub rolls.

“Anything we need, they’re here to help us,” Stillman said.

The fire caused $50,000 in damages to the Twisted Pickle, Phillips said. A smoky smell still lingered Tuesday afternoon near the front of the charred building, located across from Moody Tire Inc.

Scorched items, including a sign and bench, could be seen outside of the business, marked off by yellow caution tape.

Fire rescue crews responded to the blaze at 5:55 a.m. Tuesday at the deli, located in the 8100 block of U.S. 1, Kiernan said. A person who lives across the street called 911 and reported seeing “flames coming out of the front window,” a sheriff’s report shows.

Firefighters extinguished the heavy flames – which ignited in the eatery – about 6:30 a.m.

The blaze burned through the deli, which is located in one section of the building. Even though Twisted Pickle was destroyed, firefighters were able to save the rest of the structure, Kiernan said.

“The building is salvageable,” Kiernan said.

Owens Carpet & Binding – a rug and carpet shop sharing retail space in the building with the eatery – had smoke damage, but no fire damage, Kiernan said. Niki and Jonathan Fuller, owners of the carpet store, said the fire has left them in “shock and devastation.”

“This is all we have,” Niki Perkins said. “We don’t get down very easily. We put our whole lives in to this building.”

Perkins said she’s not sure what will happen to the items that have smoke damage. Perkins said customers have reached out by going to the location and bringing water, paper towels and offering help.

The carpet store has been in business since 1978. Niki Perkins and Jonathan Fuller bought the store in 2016.

“We’ll do what we have to do to start working again,” Perkins said.

Burke and Ron Neely, the owners of the building for 35 years, said they will let Perkins and Fuller put the undamaged items in a storage unit located on the east side of the building. Burke Neely said she hopes to rebuild the damaged part of the structure.

“I’m devastated for the tenants,” Burke Neely said. “This is the worst time it could’ve happened. I’m still in shock.”

The state fire marshal will investigate the cause of the blaze.


Photos by Nick Samuel

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