LIVINGSTON, TX (KTRE) - An East Texas restaurant, loved by locals burned to the ground last night. Several firefighters responded to find the Indian Hill Restaurant in Livingston engulfed in flames.
“I left the restaurant a little after nine,” said owner Bob Kuperman. “Then I got a telephone call that there were flames coming through my building and I just thought they were joking.”
But this was no joke.
“Then I got another call, and realized that they were serious.”
Eleven fire departments rushed to the scene. Don Marlow of the Scenic Loop volunteer fire department was the first to arrive.
“When I got here, I noticed the fire on the north side of the building," Marlow said. "We had a good north wind that wasn’t in our favor and it really pushed the fire throughout the whole building.”
The fire burned the Indian Hill Restaurant to the ground, making it a total loss according to fire department officials. Kuperman says his restaurant used to be a warm haven for residents on Lake Livingston.
“It was high-end, we had steak, lobster, high-end food,” Kuperman said.
Now, it’s a pile of ash and broken boards; a melancholy monument to the memories shared by residents of the lake.
“Most of our friends on the peninsula that we’ve met, we met at the restaurant," said neighbor Jeff Rushlow. "So, it was a place to gather. I can’t tell you how many different couples my wife and I have met and are now friends with because of that restaurant, and we’d just come for a drink or for a meal or whatever and we just really enjoyed it.”
Fire marshals will continue to investigate the remains to discover the cause of the fire. Kuperman said he has no plans to rebuild, though he is considering building townhouses where the restaurant once stood.