A popular restaurant in south Hot Springs, Jason's on Amity, 148 Amity Road, was destroyed by a fire that broke out just before 2:30 p.m. Monday.
Around 19 firefighters from the Lake Hamilton, 70 West and Morning Star fire departments spent several hours working to put out the fire, which gutted the building.
Lake Hamilton Fire & Rescue Fire Marshal Bill Heck said the cause of the fire was still under investigation.
"It looks like the fire originated on the C-side of the building (toward the back), which is the kitchen side of the building but I don't know if that's the (exact location) of the kitchen or not," said Lake Hamilton Fire Chief Doug Davey.
LifeNet, Garland County Sheriff's Department, Entergy Arkansas Inc., the Garland County Department of Emergency Management, and the Garland County Road Department were all on scene, Davey added. Traffic on Amity was being diverted down Albright Road, since the roadway was blocked at the Highway 7 intersection by the firefighting effort.
"It's hot. LifeNet is here doing a great job of giving my guys rehab. ... We're still here extinguishing hot spots and investigating the scene," Davey said Monday evening.
Co-owner Megann Elmore said she and her fiance, Jason Davis, received about three alerts from their alarm company citing a possible burglary initiated by motion detectors in the building around 2 p.m. When they arrived to check out the building, Elmore said it was enveloped in smoke. The building was reportedly unoccupied when the fire began.
"The alarm system called (and) they said it was just a motion sensor so Jason just said, 'Well, you know, just cancel it. Don't send the cops since it's just a motion sensor, you know,'" Elmore said.
"(I'm) in shock because we put everything into it. You know, we've come out of addiction ... and this is what we've worked for. This is what we wanted to do for the Lord. I guess it wasn't in His plan but I'm going to hold on tight to my faith and we're going to stick together, stay strong, and get through this," she said.
Elmore said that the area where the fire supposedly began housed an air conditioning unit, walk-in, and prep area. She noted that the air conditioning unit had blown off onto the ground and was on fire.
"All the hard work that we've put into it is gone. I don't have words. You don't have words when you've put everything into something and it just goes up. The hardest part is sitting here watching it (happen)," she said.
"I do know that the Lord has plans for us and I'm going to give it to him and let him work this out. I just want everyone to keep us in their prayers."
Jason Davis declined to comment.
Local on 06/04/2019
Print Headline: Fire destroys popular restaurant