PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Charlotte County Fire and EMS worked to contain a massive fire caused by a car crashing into a building on US-41 and Edgewater Sunday morning.
The Florida Highway Patrol says the 32-year-old driver is suffering serious injuries.
Troopers say the Punta Gorda man was driving southbound on US 41 in the right lane, approaching Edgewater Drive.
He veered off the road, became airborne, and struck the Fishin Franks building, Troopers said.
Investigators reveal the car overturned and came to rest on the Fishin Franks building roof.
“All that’s left is the myth and the legend that was, ” Fishin Frank.
Authorities say the crash caused a fire that destroyed the building.
“Every-time we get one foot up and we’re starting to run strong something else happens, ” said Michael Zeigler.
Troopers say the crash is suspected to be alcohol-related and the crash remains under investigation.
“Now we don’t know what to do, maybe we’ll be back, there is a chance, not a good chance but a chance, ” said Fishin Frank.
Business owners are left waiting to see if insurance will cover the damage.
“We own a bait shop, we don’t own Goldman Saks, so I can’t afford to pay $10,000 in rent, ” said Fishin Frank.
Neighbors say Fishin Franks was a community staple.
“Almost everybody that fishes come through this shop.”
“He’s like a God in Port Charlotte he’s a great guy he’s helped the community out. I’ve heard a lot of good things about him so my heart goes out to him, ” said Mike Throckmortan.
The community is now coming together to support Fishin Franks, a local business who’s been in the area for 35 years.
“People from all over the world have come in over the decades, I’ve watched people grow up, little kids who now come in with their kids,” said Fishin Frank.
Kenneth Lowe, a local business owner, says he’s been a life long customer, starting at just 8 years old.
“My first thought was, I own this building and its vacant at the moment and I figured I’d offer to help, ”said Lowe.
In Facebook post, with over 2,000 shares, he volunteers a temporary property, rent-free.
“Not knowing really the details of how long or anything like that, but whatever I could do to help, ill help, ”said Lowe.
He is just one of thousands donating - hoping to lighten the load & help Fishin Frank to get back to business.
Click here to donate.