HOMOSASSA, Fla. (FOX 13) - Fire investigators are trying to figure out what caused a popular restaurant along the Homosassa River to go up in flames.
"It was devastating. It tore it up bad. We watched the whole thing go up," witness Michael Tompkins said.
Massive clouds of black smoke could be seen billowing from the Crumps Restaurant around noon Saturday. The restaurant's large grass roof was completely on fire.
"We watched it jump from the kitchen over to the tiki bar and probably within 20 minutes the entire thing was inflamed," said another witness, Mickey Bell.
Boaters watched as the fire quickly spread.
"It's just such a shame because they recently redid this and it was just perfect, the food was amazing. Just the vibe over there was incredible," witness Amy Hammond said.
The newly re-modeled restaurant has only been open for about a year. Bell and his group had just dined there last night.
"I spoke to one of the employees this morning who served us last night. She was in tears. In all reality it's pretty sad. It's a hit for the economy," Bell said.
Crumps Landing is one of two major restaurants along the river and is loved by many in this community.
"They will serve you right on the boat. Drinks or food or whatever, and this place was packed every day," Tompkins said.
Witnesses said as many as 150 people were inside the restaurant when it caught fire. Everyone made it out safely.
Some are now hoping the fire won't mean the end for the restaurant.
"Hopefully they will re-build it, hopefully exactly the way it was, because they did an incredible job," Hammond said.
Citrus County Fire Rescue says the fire started as a propane fire. The official cause is still under investigation.