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Valino's fire update

READ MORE: Valino's fire update
It didn't take long for fire to rip through Valino's Restaurant, a popular eatery and karaoke spot at the corner of Carolina Beach Road and Southern Blvd. The fire broke out around 3:30 in the morning and luckily no one was inside. ”I just got a call from the bosses daughter telling me that it was on fire and I came just to see what I could do,” said Mena Buie, a waitress at Valinos’s. Fire crews were able to get the fire under control around sunrise. Officials aren't sure what sparked the blaze. Several agencies have been called to investigate. Valino's is a total loss at this point, but the good news is that restaurant owners have insurance so they are able to rebuild. Traffic was reduced to one lane Wednesday morning. The chief investigator has said this afternoon that they determined the fire was accidental and started in the dining room.

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How Lame

I can't believe you people are involved in an internet blog fight. A fire happened. It made the news. The fire department and insurance companies will handle it. Get over yourselves already!


expect a speedy return. The Insured will no doubt want the insurance company to rebuild a Ruth's Chris when they purchased a Hardee's. Never fails to happen. Be a Scrooge when it comes to selecting coverages to keep premiums down; then plead "no understand coverages" when the loss occurs.

My family is hurting...

I was dismayed to hear the news that Valinos had caught fire. The owners and staff there are like my extended family. I haven't even been able to drive by that area because it was always a place where I felt welcome, enjoyed the "regulars" doing their own things, talking about life, kidding with the workers, and unwinding after work. Miss Ruby's cooking is true "home food," and I always looked forward to the lunch specials. I hope you all will be up and running in record short time. I am sure all the years you have invested there, being around for folks, and extending an arm for a hug, lending your ear for support, and welcoming anyone without an axe to grind to be a part of the "gang" at Valinos. It has been, for me, a real-life "Cheers," and a family-type diner all rolled in to one. I love you guys.


Wow, what idiots will type. If you are not apart of our valino's family go away and stay away. To my valino's family, you know who you are, this is for you. Have no fears we will still have fun for years.......give the owners some time, they will be back for good times. To my saturday night girls, Tara and Jenn will still sling you beers, and remember which tab to write it on, (lol). To Susie, you will have your'e stage to entertain us all as you have for years, the DJ will not forget your songs but the disc numbers my change.....To those of you that never came for the goodtimes that all of us have shared, you will never know what a great feeling you missed. Thanks to those who called me yesterday to check on everyone, I will be back in touch with all.

Be Careful What you Wish For

It is amazing to read the comments from people who THINK they know what caused the fire. In over 25 years of fire investigations, I have NEVER assumed the cause of any fire and have not listened to those who thought they knew what started it. Many people can be the Monday morning quarterback but let the professionals who know what they are doing do their job before you start throwing junk into the mix. The one who assumed it was an insurance fire is jumping to a lot conclusions as are those who have speculated about some groups may be involved. Keep your opinions to what you know. Many fires start at the wee hours of the morning and ARE accidental. Fires can burn for a long time before they are detected sometimes and I have seen them burn for 3 to 4 hours going undetected. Thank goodness no one was hurt and no firefighter got hurt. Any fire you can go home from is a safe job Keep up the good work Wilmington FD and stay the course


Valinos was a local restaurant but it also serves as the only lesbian bar in Wilmington. Every Saturday night women flocked that place to drink, be merry and dance and sing with a mix crowd of locals and straight people. I really hope that the fire didn't have anything to do with the GLBTQ community. Many of the lesbians in the community are paying close attention to the why and how of this situation. I hope they rebuild.

What about Mickey Ratz? Oh

What about Mickey Ratz? Oh thought u knew it all? Stop hating, maybe u should go sing, dance, and be merry with them because u seem to know where they like to be.


Yes,I loved the way folks came together at that place to party... so sad to see you locked in on the lesbian ladies... at that club I call the folks who party together on a regular basis simply ' family'... too bad the home front has a scar now but it will heal and the party is on again soon....


Valinos was a special place to me and im sorry to see it go, my heart goes out to David and the rest.

Some of the

things the fire marshal and insurance investigator will look at: 1. contents of refriegerator/freezer -- if empty a red flag goes up. 2. smoking policy in facility -- were ash tray contents properly disposed of? 3. recent re-financing of facility 4. flash points which are unusually located.

Re: Valinos

What a seedy hole in the wall place that was. But it was SO much fun. Everyone from all walks of life could go to Martha's Karaoke and have a good time. Sure the DJ played the same music week after week, but it was a place to kick off the shoes, order a drink (one of the few places that know how to make a real drink)and forget about the day. I hope they rebuild!



Digital Video Recorder May Have The Answer

There is a digital video recorder located in the back office that uses a hard drive to keep a week's worth of video from six or seven different cameras. Becuse it is a hard drive asnd not magnetic media, there is perhaps a chance that the video may be able to be retrieved from a retrival storag data center. Pricey? Yes... But would it give us all an answer as to what happened in just the minutes before the fire and the few minutes after the fire started? Oh yeah.... Let's hope the police remember to look for the DVR CCTV system that was located in the back office....


Looks like some one wants some INS money times are tough people need money. If it caught on fire a little after people left to go home when place closed ok something might have been left on, now 3 a.m. no one there looks strange might have been set. You do the math,people not going out to eat much, times are bad people need money. When people want or need money it would not stop anyone from doing anything. Glad no one was hurt.

One of those video poker

One of those video poker machines must have shorted out and caught fire!

Fire @ Martha's Lounge

Personally, it is hard to beleive that the fire would have been started in the kitchen, do to faulty equipment. From the looks of the fire, from the pictures, the time of the call reported, "I would have to say this fire was self ignited". This fire was started, "had to be". We can rule out GAS, or Natural Gas, there wouldn't be any building left, more less a block. It takes a fire roughly an hour, in a building such as that one, to get through the roof, the way that one did, in such an empty space. Keep in mind, ok, let's add carpet, curtains, ceiling still, it takes time, unless Gas was involved. Even an electrical fire, would not have ignited such a blaze. Another thing, the time of the call reporting the fire, why 3:15? Bar closes at 2:00a.m., that's an hour and a hlf difference, give or take cleaning up, ok, so your out by 2:30a.m., at the latest. If the bar closes, before the time of there advertisement, "that's against the law". It's kind of obvious to see a fire of this magnitude, before 3:15a.m., that tells me the fire hadn't broke through until around that time, and it probably took some time to make the call, or to calm down. Therefore the fire had been burning for quite sometime, now. A Gas explosion, or Kitchen related fire, such as an electrical fire, will show up after the blaze, and coloration of fire is different, not to mention smell. Also, much larger fire. I am ruling trash can ignited, (cigarette butt), paper blown to the pilot light, (then again that goes back to gas), or something left on and a draft sent a spark to something else. Like I said, the fire had to be going for a while, way before 3:15a.m. These are my opinions, and the right of a US Citizen, these are not facts, just a voice, of Freedom of Speech. God Bless our troops, and The United States of America....

Ok Grissim

Let me see the rule book where it says it is against the law to close early. You spew so much information that's just, well wrong. Don't make it up.

FYI on store hours

I may be wrong on bars,but, "stores such as grocery stores, conviant marks, etc., have to stay open as advertised"! If you say you are open for business, from 8:00 to 4:00, etc., you must be open. The only time that you can get away with shutting down a store early, is in the case of an emergency. Such as a 24 hour Scotchman, or whatever, even then, that's when the manager usually comes in to feel the position, because it's his job. As far as me being wrong...."not likely". Better yet, "why don't we end the cat fight, and both research that info'".....Other than bars, "everything else I know I am right".

Re: Laws

You're right, you are wrong. There is no law on any book that says a store must be open during posted hours. For good customer service they should be. I've managed several local stores and while I've always stayed open during posted hours except closing 5-10 minutes early when no one was making money. Think about it this way: How could government tell a privately owned store when to open and when to close?

Store hours

There is no law on the books that I know of that dictates anything about stores having to stay open as advertised. If you know of such a law - please give me the NC general statute number, and I will apologize. Even if there is such a law, it is certainly not enforced. I worked in retail for about 10 years. My store would close early several times a year: summer employee barbeque, christmas party, annual inventory, christmas eve, new years eve, etc.

come on now

Who asked for your opinion? Nobody wanted YOUR reasons on this. Please... This was someones business, someones only source of income, this is the way people kept the power going and food on the table. Why not speak about these poor souls rather than put your 2 cents on how YOU think the place burned down. A family has lost their business, and you are one of the reasons our world is like it is, always thinking the worst. So sorry for this loss, glad everyone was OK...

Who asked my opinion?

"Who asked for your opinion? Nobody wanted YOUR reasons on this." ; "you are one of the reasons our world is like it is, always thinking the worst." 1. My opinion was invited by the forum, FYI! 2. I don't think I have anything to do with the world being screwed up, "if that is how you feel, than back at you'. For whatever that means... 3. What right is it of yours to ask me what my rights are? Contradicting, eh? 4. Yes, I feel sorry for the employess, a few of them. 5. For all the idiots who can't read: "These are my opinions, and the right of a US Citizen, these are not facts, just a voice, of Freedom of Speech. God Bless our troops, and The United States of America...." ("I beleive those were my words") 6. Meaning that is my right, of opinion, or have you forgotton what your Country is all about?? I question that?? Understanding, that Freedom means many things within the USA, which "is why other countries hate us"! 7. For all of those low IQ's who commented on anything that I posted, shame on you, "for allowing me to dig deeper"....I said what I said, and I will say it again. 8. I used to work in the dang place, so I have a little more info', about what I am stating than you have to offer. 9. It is my beleif and I am not changing my opinion, (sorry for the employee's), but "YES, I FEEL IT WAS SELF IGNITED, OR, IF YOU WOULD HAVE READ A LITTLE BETTER":...... ("I am ruling trash can ignited, (cigarette butt), paper blown to the pilot light,something left on and a draft sent a spark to something else.") 10. You would have realized that all probable causes were in my statement, which I was also getting my news from, early news, and nearby neighbors from the blaze...Not to mention the fact that, "even the original article that on the fire stories changed"....1st it was 3:15, then 3:30....Also, was the fact that the original cause was started in the Kitchen, "now it's the dining room". Now, the Fire Dept., is saying it's accidental, either opinion, is becoming more the truth after all. Definition of Self Ignited: "any fire caused by human, or mechanism causing a spark". "related to self igniting.: what causes a match to ignite what temperature does paper ignite can matches self ignite at what temperature will gas ignite can a cigarette ignite gas ignite inc ignite lyrics ignite electricity ignite electric lava ignite ignite magazine fat ignite All cases of explosive catagories!! As far as the hours of operation is concerned, "I am admitting I was wrong about that one"...Please accept my apology!! I was going by what someone else had stated, and I should have researched that one a little better..."Shame on me". lol 11. I will say this, "this is fact". Not too long ago, HB Spokes in Myrtle Beach SC, burned down, "the fire was set", "insurance refused to pay"....Hopefully, Donna & David will not run into a problem where that is concerned.

Your Opinion is yours alone

You made some very strong statements that I am not sure you really know. Are you a trained firefighter? Are you a forensic engineer? Walk in someone else's shoes before you talk the talk

I can walk and talk the talk

Why would want to walk in anyone else's shoes when I can walk in my own? So, yes I can "walk the walk, and talk the talk"...FYI!


It is interesting with the feedback that I have recieved. However, for your information, "I have alot of training, have seen alot of fires, and I know more than you do about what really happens, or should I say, happened behind those doors"!!! I do feel sorry for the workers, and those are the only ones I feel sorry for.....The owners, like stated have insurance, "all they lost was an old building". The new one will be up to code. As far as the way I broke it down, that is just a voice....How dare you, question my freedom??? Have you ever fought for this country? I will say as I wish....It is my right, and besides, I said nothing out of the way. All I did, "was break down what I felt". They're my words, "I said them, and I will say them again". I used to work there, and thank GOD, that I left when I did.

Vallino's/Martha's fire

What a sad day it is. This was a great karaoke hangout whenever I visited Wilmington. Sorry to see it go down in flames. Mark Raeford, NC