Shipwrecked owners vow to rebuild after massive fire

Shipwrecked Brew Pub in Egg Harbor on August 21, 2017. (Photo Credit: WLUK)

EGG HARBOR (WLUK) -- Egg Harbor's fire chief says an electrical issue in a second floor guest room is the likely cause of yesterday's massive fire at Shipwrecked Brew Pub, Inn and Restaurant.

Chief Steve Schopf says more than 80 firefighters were treated for dehydration. About a dozen of them were treated and released at the hospital.

Shipwrecked's owners say they are already planning to rebuild.

“It’s kind of not even a decision at this point,” said Beth Levendusky, Shipwrecked’s marketing director. “We know we want to come back. We need to come back. The community wants us to come back.”

The building has always been a popular spot for visitors, even from its start in 1882.

“They say for 20 cents you could get a day's lodging and 20 cents you could get your meals,” said Giz Herbst, a member of the Egg Harbor Historical Society. “For 40 cents you could stay for a day. At that time it was called the Kewaunee house.”

Longtime Door County residents say the building is known for having ghosts. Legend also has it that it used to be a hideout for Al Capone.

“Numerous rumors that it was just a hangout, vacation spot,” said Herbst. “Things such as possible tunnels in the basement so he could escape if he had to, but I think a lot of that is just rumor.”

According to Shipwrecked's website, the Al Capone rumors are true, along with the underground tunnels.

The site says those tunnels were eventually closed for safety reasons.

“I had never heard of that, but given the age of the building, I'm not surprised there might be a ghost or two around,” said Randall Merkel, a Milwaukee resident who says he made frequent summer stops at Shipwrecked.

When it comes to the fire, the building’s age and dynamic played a role, according to firefighters.

“The place had been remodeled and added onto several times, creating voids, crawl spaces if you want to call them that within the building and that's really where the fire got in those areas,” said Chief Steve Schopf of the Egg Harbor Fire Department.

The building has been deemed a total loss.

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