IBERIA — The building that housed a former popular restaurant was destroyed by fire Sunday evening.
No one was inside when the fire broke out at the former Eileen’s Restaurant, which closed a number of years ago. It was a popular spot, drawing from local residents as well as those traveling to Marion and Mansfield.
Lt. Ryan Swank of the Iberia Volunteer Fire Department said no cause has been determined and the state fire marshal’s office will investigate.
“We got called out about 10 p.m. The back of the structure was heavily involved in fire,” Swank said.
Crews had “a little bit of an issue establishing water, but we overcame that.” They extinguished the fire and left the scene about 3:30 a.m.
“We would like to thank everyone who helped us out on this fire. We had some bystanders who helped us get hose off the truck,” Swank said. “The guy who works for the power company, thank you for securing the power so quickly.”
The following departments also responded: First Consolidated, Whetstone Township, Jefferson Township, Mount Gilead, Johnsville, ODOT, the Ohio Highway Patrol and the Morrow County Sheriff’s Office.
“The extreme cold made it difficult to do our job,” Swank aid. Temperatures were around 12 degrees Sunday night with snow still falling.
The American Red Cross came from Crawford County to support the 40-45 firefighters at the scene.
As news spread of the fire, area residents took to social media to post their memories.
“Football team (Northmor) used to eat there on Thursdays back in the day,” wrote Shawn Hoffer.
Joan Grondahl Rich said her family stopped there for a meal “a couple times years ago traveling to Friday and Saturday basketball games.”
The site later housed a grocery store and deli, but was unoccupied in recent years.
• Area firefighters also put out a house fire Sunday afternoon at the intersection of State Route 97 and County Road 20.
The structure was heavily damaged, according to neighbors in the area. It is a part of a working Amish farm.
No other information was available. Reportedly, no one was injured.