Christmas morning fire destroys restaurant

Firefighters were called to the Main Street Café at 317 Main Street just before 2:30 a.m.

What was supposed to be a cheerful holiday spent with family and friends, quickly became a day Lawrence Johnson wishes had never happened.

It was Christmas morning when a fire engulfed the Main Street Café in Meredosia.

The restaurant had only been opened for five years when tragedy struck.

Restaurant owner Lawrence Johnson says when he first heard the news, he thought it was all a bad dream.

"Yeah, it couldn't have happened at a worse time," Lawrence said. "We'd planned to have our Christmas dinner here, you know, the family and everybody, so everything was here."

Lawrence says he feels bad and worried about his employees.

Cory Johnson is Lawrence's son and a volunteer fireman in Meredosia ... he was also one of the first on the scene.

"It was very upsetting because, you know we put time and hours and everything into everything we do here, and try to make sure that we give quality food to the community and everything surrounding it," Cory said. "It's just devastating to know that it's all gone."

It took nearly four hours for the fire to be put out.

While no cause is known yet, Lawrence says he can't imagine not reopening.

"If we can rebuild here, that would be our goal at this point," Lawrence said.

There is no foul play suspected with this fire.