Fire Burns 100-Year-Old Okla. Restaurant

Investigators say lightning strikes might be responsible for starting a fire that destroyed a 100-year-old Mulhall restaurant.


MULHALL, Okla. --

Investigators said lightning strikes might be responsible for starting a fire that destroyed a 100-year-old Mulhall restaurant.

The owners of Lucille's said they're trying to salvage anything they can from the building, which started out as a bank in the late 1800s.

Residents of Mulhall said the restaurant was a tradition in town.

"Lucille's was kind of our pride and joy," said resident Janice Gorrell.

The restaurant went up in flames at about 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday. John Stephenson said he could see the flames from his front porch and took photographs.

"I got my camera and got in my car and drove down there," he said.

His photographs showed flames ripping through the roof and flashing through the windows. Volunteer firefighters were still dousing hot spots late Wednesday morning.

"We're very sad and shocked," said owner Terri Roselius. "It's just unbelievable."

Roselius said many of the waitresses who worked there stopped by to see the damage, some even crying at the sight of what's left of the building. The owners said at least two dozen people have temporarily lost their jobs.

Roselius said the family has insurance and plans to rebuild Lucille's. While the fire gutted the inside of the building, the family said the structure may be salvageable.

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