Florida restaurant explosion: Firefighters in Ocala respond to fire at Jugo Café Tropical

A restaurant explosion prompted roadblocks in Ocala, Florida on Friday evening, according to police. 

In a tweet, the Ocala Police Department said there was an "explosion/fire" at the Jugo Café Tropical on N. Pine Ave. around 7:30 p.m.  The incident caused all northbound and southbound lanes on Pine Ave from SR 40 to NW 10th St to close. 

"Ocala Fire Rescue's Engines 1, 3, and 5, Rescues 1 and 3, Tower 1, and Battalion Chief 11 responded to reports of a structure fire at Jugo Cafe Tropical," said police spokesperson Ashley Lopez. "Units arrived, within two minutes, to find a commercial structure covered in smoke and flames."

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Firefighters respond to an explosion at an Ocala restaurant, Jugo Café Tropical, on Friday, June 23, 2023. [Credit: Ocala Police]

Firefighters secured a gas line leading to the restaurant and began battling the flames.

"Once the fire was knocked down, crews completed a primary search to ensure the building was vacant," Lopez said. 

No injuries were reported and the cause of the explosion is under investigation.

The Ocala Police Department, Ocala Electric Utilities, the Ocala Building Department, Marion County Fire Rescue, and TECO Gas Company also responded.