One of Palm Beach County’s oldest buildings was destroyed in a fire Wednesday afternoon.
Firefighters were called to the 12000 block of Everglades Street in Canal Point about 3:15 p.m. at what most recently was Granado’s Used Furniture store.
“All you could see was straight up smoke,” neighbor Trinity Nee said. “There was smoke coming out of the little windows, out of the doors.”
Firefighters said flames had just started appearing on the roof of the building when they arrived, but smoke was everywhere.
“All four sides with the windows and doors, heavily charged smoke coming out, including the roof area, attic area, underneath,” Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue Capt. Rick Batchelor said.
“You could literally sit there and see that the wood on the doors were burning,” Nee said. “They were turning black.”
Firefighters said they knew the furniture store had recently closed, and the building was abandoned.
Batchelor said he made the decision early on to only fight the fire from the outside.
“We had 50- to 60-foot flames, taller than the trees, for sure,” Batchelor said.
A portion of the building collapsed, and shortly afterward, the rest of the building came down, taking with it a piece of Palm Beach County’s history.
According to the county’s website, the building had been around since the early 1900s. It was a well-known speakeasy and gambling den during prohibition.
Firefighters said the building’s age is part of the reason why it burned so quickly. It was a wood-frame and ignited easily.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but firefighters said they believe it may have been started by lightning.