BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The cleanup has started after an electrical fire sparked at an iconic Baton Rouge burger joint early Tuesday morning.
The Baton Rouge Fire Department responded to a fire at Dearman's Soda Shop on Jefferson Highway in Bocage Village around 2 a.m. Officials estimate the fire caused about $500,000 worth of damage to the restaurant.
"I'm going to miss this," said Chantay Eackels, a cook at the restaurant for the past 30 years. "All my mind was on this morning was coming to work and getting me a Dearman's burger. I feel sorry for all of my customers, but this is my home away from home."
Curt Monte with BRFD said it took about an hour to get the fire under control. He added investigators determined the fire started in a storage room near the back of the restaurant.
According to Monte, firemen were able to keep the flames contained to the back of the restaurant and the roof in that area. He stated there was also heavy smoke and heat damage to Dearman's. He added several other store in the shopping center had smoke damage.
It is the busiest time of year for Ruffles and Britches Children's Shoppe, but instead of restocking sold out shelves, they're left replacing soot-covered merchandise.
"Being a children's clothing store, the clothes are absorbing the smoke smell and all that, so we're trying to get cleaned up and everything moved out of here," said Allison Ray.
There is no word on when the popular Dearman's will reopen for business, but workers say they won't stop until they do.
Investigators are still trying to figure out exactly how the fire started.
No injuries were reported.