News & Features » News

Wekiva Island set on fire again

Owners of popular riverside hangout say they suspect arson



In the wee morning hours of Jan. 6, someone set fire to the schoolhouse at Wekiva Island in Longwood. This is the second time in three months that the popular riverside bar/hangout/canoe launch, which attracts a sizable crowd on the weekends, has experienced a fire. The previous fire, which was caused by an electrical

problem, severely damaged the Tooting Otter bar. This time around, according to Wekiva Island’s Facebook page, the fire was likely set intentionally.

“We are heartbroken and sickened to announce that in the early morning of Monday, Jan. 6, Wekiva Island was a victim of arson,” the post reads. “A person or persons deliberately set our schoolhouse building on fire.”

The owners are now faced with $20,000 worth of fire, water and smoke damage. They have partnered with the state fire marshall’s office to offer a $10,000 reward for any information that could lead to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for setting the fire. Call 877-622-7766 if you have any information about the fire.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.