TRINITY COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Firefighters with the Trinity Volunteer Fire Department battled a blaze at KC's I Love This Bar and Grill on FM 356 Friday morning. No one was injured in the fire.
"The fire done a lot of damage inside," said Wayne Huffman, the assistant chief of the Trinity Volunteer Fire Department. "We got the fire put out, and the building is still pretty much intact."
Huffman said four or five Trinity VFD trucks responded to the blaze between 6 and 6:30 a.m. Friday. When the firefighters got to the bar, which is located three or four miles outside of Trinity, they found the building locked up and had to cut the locks.
Nearly 20 residents gathered at the bar and grill to help clean up Friday afternoon.
"This is my place. I know everybody here, everybody knows me, I love this place. This is our family up in here. You need something, this is the place to come," James Thompson said.
Because the building was so airtight, the fire didn't get through the roof, Huffman said. He explained that there was a great deal of heat and water damage inside the bar.
Michael St. Claire, a cook at the restaurant, says he got the news via text message. He says he wanted to do whatever he could to help restaurant owner Kaye Weaver.
"I just flew out my door and drove straight here. It feels good that everybody wants to help and there's so much love here and you know we all love Kaye and she tries to spread the love too," St. Claire said.
Most residents said they were helping out because of their love for Weaver. They said she is very proactive in the community.
"This lady has created a bar where anybody that has any problems can come and get help. We have a number of people that anything that needs to be done, we donate as a group, as a family and this bar is a family," Harold Fenn said.
"Kaye Weaver is an amazing woman. She helps out in our community from the small children all the way up to the elderly. She will do anything in the world for anybody in this town," Regina McWilliams said.
Fenn said each year Weaver hosts a Wall of Honor benefit for veterans. He says the bar has a famous Wall of Honor with pictures from the events that are very dear to Weaver's heart. He said they were able to salvage all of those pictures.
Many residents said one of the amazing things about the fire is that a flag pole dedicated to the veterans is completely intact.
"Everybody came here to support her and you know she does a lot for everybody out here in the community," Thompson said.
Theresa and Mike Muckleroy drove all the way into town from Onalaska to grab dinner when they saw the destruction. They said they will do anything to help.
"I've already offered to donate some things that I make. I do a lot of craft work, and I've already offered to donate some things for any auctions they might have and do anything I can to help," said Theresa Muckleroy.
Despite the loss, residents say they will rebuild and Weaver will still have her annual Wall of Honor benefit on Saturday, May 25.
"It's very devastating that this bar is burnt, but believe me it will come back stronger than ever," Fenn said.
Huffman said they have no idea how the fire started. He did say that it looked like the blaze started in the rear of the building.