Local support after Florence restaurant damaged by fire

Published: Apr. 26, 2017 at 5:50 PM CDT
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Mouth of the South was the first new restaurant to open in the Florence area for quite some time and it was attracting many new people to the area. Early Wednesday morning a fire badly damaged the restaurant.

Six engines and two fire trucks were called to fight the blaze. Fire crews were able to keep the fire contained to the restaurant.

Enzo Zurlo has an Italian restaurant across the street. He hopes the owner will rebuild.

“I know about two years ago he had a smaller fire - wasn't nearly this destructive. I'm sure he'll rebuild. He's a positive person, and he'll rebuild real quick,” said Zurlo.

There has been growth in the Florence business community called the New Frontier Bar. New planters, new streetlights have made the area look better and new businesses are still moving in.

“I don't think it will slow our progress. But it is a significant loss to the business community here. Mouth of the South was the first business that was a part of this revitalization,” said Brock.

Nancy Bohnenkamp is the owner of Harlod’s Koffee House. They've been in the Florence area for decades.

“We were just speaking the other night with each other we had a business meeting and saying how wonderful Florence is how we're growing and everybody's thriving and boy, this is really a blow to us all,” said Bohnenkamp.

People in the business community say the owner of the Mouth of the South is out of town on vacation. And this is what he will come home to but they say he will also come home to the support of his neighbors.

“I think all this will do is bring attention to how we live together and work together here. And how we rally around each other to make sure that were all progressing and striving to make this the best place it can be,” said No More Empty Pots owner Nancy Williams.

Authorities estimate the dollar loss from structural damage at $22,850 and the loss to the building's contents at $10,000.

Anyone with information about the blaze is asked to contact the Arson Hotline at 402-444-FIRE (3473).