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‘We are going to try and rebuild.’ Wytheville restaurant owner hopes to continue its legacy after fire

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 7:58 PM EDT
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WYTHEVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - After Tuesday night’s fire at Wytheville’s Log House 1776 Restaurant, longtime owner James Green says seeing it up in flames was not easy.

“Truthfully, it was pretty numb. I mean, being honest, it’s just numb,” said Green. “I mean, you think back on all the years and everything, but reality didn’t hit for a while, you know.”

He remembers the night of the fire. He was in the gift shop when someone said there was a fire. Everyone in the restaurant rushed outside and watched as fire crews arrived and began battling the blaze.

Wytheville Fire and Rescue Chief Marc Brade told WDBJ7 crews arrived in about 2 minutes.

Brade said the fire started on the first floor and made its way up to the attic.

“We did an initial interior structure fire attack at the seed of the fire on the first floor. And then when we started to have some concerns with structural, specifically the roof, part of the roof collapsed,” said Wytheville’s fire chief Marc Brade.

Brade said crews managed to get the bulk of the fire under control in about 30 minutes but had to pull crews out until it was safe to go back in.

“Everybody’s outside, we extinguished the fire on the outside, and then we went back in the areas that we knew were stable,” said Brade. “So, really, boots on the ground, going in and sifting through those areas to really make sure that the fire’s put out.”

Crews were able to keep most of the building intact-- even with major damage to the roof.

“If you were to walk inside the building. You would be amazed at what is undamaged,” said Brade.

Many folks believe there’s still hope for the 150-year-old building.

“I’m gonna try to rebuild because it’s a very good business and been for 47 years. We are going to try and rebuild,” said Green.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

Brade said firefighters from Wytheville, Max Meadows and Rural Retreat, as well as Wytheville Police Department and Virginia State Police, helped with Tuesday’s efforts.

The owners posted on Facebook saying the building will remain closed. No word yet on when they plan to rebuild, but they do plan on keeping this piece of history alive.

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