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Businesses in downtown Jacksonville recovering after restaurant fire

Monday, April 29, 2013 - 7:37pm

A fire destroys a restaurant in Jacksonville early Sunday morning.

No one was injured but the restaurant is destroyed along with the business right next door.

"They found a lot of smoke coming out of the front of the building. They went around the back and the fire was originally toward the rear of the building and that is the kitchen area so we know it originated in the back and by the time they got their lines charged the whole thing started blooming out." said Jacksonville Fire Chief Paul White.

Now the City of Jacksonville and businesses around the intersection of Main and Commerce St. are trying to pick up the pieces.

"I just really felt sick. The people have worked so hard building these businesses up, it was just devastating to hear," said owner of Snap Dragon and Snaps photography Emily Griffin.

Griffin's store is filled with broken glass and has smoke and water damage.

She says thankfully nothing else in her store was destroyed and everyone around the area was ok.

"I'm very lucky. Two doors over, they have nothing left and the renters next door have nothing left but I was very lucky," said Griffin.  

The city is now trying to figure out what to do with the building.

City Manager Mo Raissi tells KETK the building is old and can collapse at any second.

Raissi,  Fire Chief White and the Public Works Department walked through the rubble today.

They are trying to figure out the safest way to bring down the walls.

"We're going to consult public safety and ask them what we need to do. Safety is our first issue." said Raissi.

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