ORLANDO, Fla. - The owner of an iconic ice cream shop in Orlando has vowed to rebuild after it caught fire – and was heavily damaged – early Friday morning, which fire officials are investigating as possible arson.
Firefighters responded to Goff's Drive-in, which opened in 1948 on S. Orange Blossom Trail, near Church Street, shortly after 6 a.m. and found it heavily damaged. The cause of the fire was not immediately known.
Late Friday, a spokesperson for the Orlando Fire Department confirmed the fire was believed to have been "intentionally set" and is officially being investigated as arson. Evidence at the scene has been collected, and video surveillance is being reviewed, the spokesperson said.
"It's heartbreaking," said owner Todd Peacock. "It hurts. It definitely hurts, especially when this is the main source of income for our family."
He has vowed to rebuild as quickly as he can.
"People can try to knock it down, but I ain't going nowhere," he told FOX 35 Orlando in an interview early Friday morning.
According to the ice cream shop's Facebook page, this is the second fire the owner has dealt with in less than a month.
On May 4, Goff posted that someone allegedly planted "what appears to have been an explosive" in the back of the shop, along with some purported damage.
"If anyone can identify this person, and he is held accountable, there is a reward. We are open for business and this guy isn’t going to shut us down. We have no idea the reason behind his actions but would love to know," Goff's wrote in his post about the first incident.