Highlands restaurants destroyed by fire

By Shayla Reaves - bio | email
Posted by Charles Gazaway - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A popular Highlands restaurant was destroyed after a Friday morning fire at 1216 Bardstown Road. It happened around 4 a.m. and affected nearby businesses. The flames were so intense that Café Mimosa and the Egg Roll Machine were left gutted and a three-block stretch of Bardstown Road temporarily shut down.

"Very, very concerned. Got here as quick as possible," said Lindsey Jones who rescued animals kept at Fairleigh Pet Center overnight. "The power is off right now. It's really the main concern for them; we don't want them in there when it is this cold." Workers safely evacuated at least five animals, cats and dogs, from the pet center.

Ice hanging from overhead power lines created a situation so dangerous LG&E shut down power early Friday morning. The McDonald's located across the street from the fire closed for five hours and Keith's Hardware store made business run.

"We saw some people come in. We've got another building that we were able to run extension cords over and run our cash registers and put a couple lights up. We weren't doing too bad," said Bill Norman, manager of Keith's Hardware.

Still workers witnessed the impact on Bardstown Road.

"It was a mess. Traffic was blocked off. Puddles of water all over the street," Norman said.

"My car here is covered with ice from them fighting the fire," said nearby resident Jon-Mark Sandquist. "We heard a whole lot of sirens coming down and some honking of horns to get people out of the way. I definitely smelled the smoke and I wanted to make sure it wasn't my building on fire, so I went and looked out of the window and I could see the smoke billowing up from the buildings."

The fire comes after some neighbors say they've noticed some unusual things in the neighborhood.

"There have been some dumpster fires in the back here in the last three or four months. A number of them," said Sandquist, who has lived at his home for about three years. "From what I've been told that might be one of the reasons why this happened."

We tried to confirm that information with Louisville Fire officials, but our calls were not returned.

Nearby business owners say they have had contact with the owner of Cafe Mimosa and the Egg Roll Machine since the buildings were destroyed. They say he does plan to rebuild.