Piggott Business Damaged by Fire

Thursday, September 12, 2013
Firefighters work to extinguish hot spots in the ceiling of the Los Compadres Restaurant Sunday afternoon. Brutally hot conditions both in, and out, of the building compounded the difficulty for fire personnel in battling the blaze.

The Piggott Fire Department had a couple of busy days Sunday and Monday, responding to a fire which damaged a local restaurant Sunday afternoon and a report of smoke from a dryer at the General Baptist Nursing Home Monday.

A blaze heavily damaged the Los Compadres restaurant on East Main Street in Piggott Sunday afternoon, but luckily no injuries were reported. The building, which was originally the A&W Root Beer Stand, has been a fixture in the city since the late 1950's.

According to Piggott Fire Chief Bradley Scheffler, firefighters were summoned to the business just before 1 p.m. as employees were alerted by the public that flames were coming through the roof at the rear of the building. Fire personnel battled the blaze, and accompanying thick smoke, and were hampered by extreme heat both from the weather and within the building.

The firefighters were able to quickly bring the blaze under control, but remained on the scene until around 4 p.m. as they tended to several hot spots in the ceiling area. Scheffler also reported that fire personnel returned to the scene early Monday morning to extinguish yet another hot spot which threatened to re-kindle.

According to reports the fire is still under investigation, but employees working at the time indicated the blaze started as a grease fire in the kitchen.

The building is the property of Johnny Porter, and the business owner is Vincente Garcia.

The structure was originally built in the late 1950's and for decades was the A&W Root Beer Stand. It was sold to Claude Jones in 1965, and was later changed to Jones Family Restaurant, before being acquired by Porter.

In recent years the building was taken over by Garcia, and since has housed the Mexican style restaurant. The business also recently underwent a facelift, including renovation and remodeling of the dining area.

No damage estimates were available, and at last report insurance adjusters had yet to determine if the structure is a complete loss. Scheffler indicated the bulk of the damage was restricted to the kitchen area of the building, but smoke and water damage was prevalent throughout the structure.

Then, around 3 p.m. Monday firefighters were summoned to the laundry area of General Baptist Nursing Home in Piggott on the report of smoke from a dryer vent. Scheffler indicated GBNH employees had the situation in hand when personnel arrived, and firefighters only remained on the scene for about half an hour.

He noted the smoke was restricted to the laundry room of the local nursing home, which is a separate building from the main campus. No injuries were reported.

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