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Firefighters Battle Limestone Restaurant Fire On Fish Fry Night

Firefighters Battle Limestone Restaurant Fire On Fish Fry Night

(Stock Photo)

The Decatur Daily via YellowBrix

June 12, 2010

ELKMONT, Ala. — An out-of-control grease fire ended Friday fish night at Country Boys’ Cafe after flames engulfed the 3-month-old business, burning the restaurant to the ground, authorities said.

Five employees and two diners safely escaped the business at 28941 Alabama 127 after grease from a fish fryer on the back patio caught fire shortly before 5:20 p.m. Elkmont Police Chief Donnie Johnson said the fire quickly spread from the patio to the kitchen and then into the dining area.

“Everyone is in a daze right now,” he said. “Some of the employees are pretty shook up and crying because this was their livelihood.”

Elkmont, Owens and West Limestone firefighters’ efforts to put out the fast-moving fire were hampered due to the only water hydrant being a quarter-mile away, Johnson said. Firefighters had to fill up with water at the hydrant and truck it to the scene.

“Every time we get the flames knocked down, we seem to run out of water,” he said. “The building also had wood siding, which went up pretty quickly.”

Near Tennessee line

The owners, Roger Daily and Lane Holt, have insurance for the business, which sits in a rural area near the Tennessee state line. Johnson said the building had been vacant for the past few years before the restaurant opened. Country Boys’ Cafe also operates as a gas station. The fuel pumps were far enough away from the fire to keep from igniting, Johnson said.

Firefighters also had to battle the hot weather Friday evening, when temperatures remained in the upper 80s. Paramedics made periodic checks on the firefighters to make sure they didn’t overheat, Johnson said.

“Many of them are shedding their coats,” he said.

Johnson anticipated crews would continue to fight the blaze into the night, trucking water back and forth from the hydrant. Firefighters had already made six trips in an hour, he said.