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The iconic Orange World in Kissimmee remains closed after fire forces closure - Plans to renovate

Updated: Mar 18, 2023

Orange World on the 192 is currently closed, but hopefully not for too long!

Orange World in Kissimmee suffered extensive interior damage to the iconic giant orange structure on Highway 192 on Tuesday, March 7, forcing the business to remain closed.

"The Big Orange" as its affectionately known by locals and tourists alike is an iconic structure known to millions who have visited the gift shop that has been selling citrus, gifts and all things Florida since the early 1980's.

Orange World in Kissimmee

The fire broke out around 6 pm near the rear of the store, on Tuesday, March 7, and filled the surrounding area with thick black smoke.

Osceola County Fire Rescue & EMS quickly responded, with around a dozen firefighters in attendance, who fortunately extinguished the fire quickly, and kept the impact of the fire mainly to the rear of the store, with the main damage being smoke and water damage.

Fortunately the orange roofed building is mainly unaffected, with the roof sustaining no damage, and THE mural featured in the Florida Project movie is unaffected.

Orange World in Kissimmee

As you can see the main damage is to the rear of the store.

The square hole that you can see cut out the side of the building is one of many that firefighter cut out to help ventilate the roof space.

Firefighters quickly brought the fire unde control, preventing any damage to the nearby Waffle House and Stayable Suites Hotel.

It's thought that the fire likely started in a storage area in the rear of the shop.

The good news is that the building is structurally safe, and the owner, Mason Rahman is planning to have the store back up and running as soon as possible, with plans to reopen within the next few months.

Orange World was the idea of Eli Sfassie who moved from Indiana to Florida to open a Texaco gas station near Walt Disney World when the park opened in 1971.

To further capitalize off tourists in the area, Sfassie began selling souvenirs in the service bay. The gift store was so successful that in 1988, he had the building converted to resemble an orange fruit for $6,000, and called it Eli's Orange World.

The building was billed as the "world's largest orange" by Sfassie and stands at 60 feet.

Orange World in Kissimmee 1988

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Emma Walton News Producer

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