Daytona Beach, FL – Less than two weeks ago, it was the home of a popular bar and dozens of people with apartments on the floors above the Crooks Den.
Now, the Bayview Hotel building on Orange Avenue in downtown Daytona Beach is only a memory.
Only dirt, a big dumpster and a few pieces of heavy machinery remain on the lot where the historic building stood for nearly a hundred years.
That building – built in 1923 – was condemned after fire broke out in the early morning hours of July 27th in the facility’s boiler room.
Daytona Beach fire officials said three dozen people in the building at the time were evacuated hours before the fire mushroomed, sending thick black smoke over much of downtown Daytona for hours after the flames forced the roof’s collapse.
Firefighters eventually got a handle on the flames in time to prevent its spread into nearby buildings, but the damage caused by the fire and the water used to knock it down left the building too damaged to be saved, according to Daytona Beach officials.
Demolition began the day after the fire, with crews blocking off a westbound lane on Orange Avenue in front of the building so that heavy machinery and bulldozers had enough space to work. That lane has remained blocked ever since.
Those who were living in the Bayview received immediate assistance from the Red Cross and temporary shelter at the nearby First Baptist Church until they could find housing elsewhere.