(Update: 3:20 p.m. Flame Restaurant re-opening date)
A fire has destroyed one of Sanford’s most established restaurants this morning.
Firefighters began battling a blaze at the Fairview Dairy Bar beginning around 3:30 a.m. this morning after a fire alarm went off, according to a Sanford Fire Department spokesman. No injuries were reported.
No other details were available this morning. The fire looked to be put out by 6 a.m., and the restaurants front windows appeared to be knocked out and the inside gutted. The smell of smoke carried for several blocks and into downtown Sanford by sunrise.
Opened in 1954, the Dairy Bar has changed ownership a few times over the past few years. Steve Brewer, a former Sanford City Councilman and owner of The Flame restaurant next door to the Dairy Bar, assumed ownership earlier this year. The Flame was also damaged by the fire and will be closed for about four to six weeks, Brewer posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
Brewer released a statement early Tuesday, just hours after the fire:
“All of our families at The Flame Steakhouse and The Fairview Dairy family regret to inform you about an early morning fire. We will be closed,” Brewer posted on Facebook. “As more information is obtained, we will keep you up to date. There are many families working with our family, and we ask that you keep them in your thoughts.”
The restaurant is famous locally for its burgers, hot dogs and ice cream.
The Rant will have updates throughout the day.
The following photos were posted to Facebook by an employee of the Dairy Bar. The photos show the extent of the damage at the front of the restaurant and in the kitchen area.