Popular restaurant destroyed by fire, will serve food for festiv - WNEM TV 5

Popular restaurant destroyed by fire, will serve food for festival

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Source: WNEM Source: WNEM
Source: Frank Phelps Source: Frank Phelps
CASEVILLE, MI (WNEM) -

A massive fire burned through a popular restaurant, completely destroying it.

Multiple fire departments were called to Riverside Roadhouse on Main Street in Caseville just after 1:30 a.m. on Aug. 2. When crews arrived, flames were shooting out of the roof the building. 

The building had to be torn down because what remained was structurally unsafe.

The fire is believed to have started in the kitchen area of the restaurant, and is not considered suspicious.

No one was hurt.

The fire at the popular restaurant comes just two weeks before the Cheeseburger in Caseville event that draws thousands to the city.

The owner said she plans to be open for Cheeseburger Festival, even if it means setting up tents to serve the food.

"I thought it was just a small fire when I got over here it was pretty devastating," said Sandy Monette, owner.

This is the second tragedy in less than a year for Monette. Her husband Dennis dies before the parade during the 2015 edition of the cheeseburger festival. He was a Caseville firefighter.

"Ambulance come through while we had the parade route blocked off and we didn't know for a little bit that it was him, but we were just absolutely devastated," Caseville Fire Chief Ben Willenberg said.

As for the fire that destroyed the restaurant, Willenberg said the investigation continues.

Meanwhile, the head of the cheeseburger celebration said Riverside Roadhouse is a popular stop during the annual event.

"Sold a lot of cheeseburgers. Put up a nice tent with really good service. You come in here, they bring in some entertainment and it was a fantastic addition to the community and to our festival," Steve Louwers said.

As Monette tries to pick up the pieces, she vows to keep making great food for the community that's always been there for her.

"We're going to open it back up. We'll have the tent going. We're going to go full speed ahead. Nothing is going to stop us," she said.

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