Inferno destroys The Pear Tree, Bevier museum
UPDATED: An investigator from the Missouri State Fire Marshal's was on the scene of the Bevier fire on Thursday.
Bevier Fire Chief David Coleman told KTVO it appears the damage is likely too extensive for investigators to be able to figure out what started the fire.
That means the official cause will likely go in the books as "undetermined."
The Pear Tree owners, Al and Mike Abbadess of Macon, told KTVO Thursday that it is too early yet for them to know about future plans.
They aren't sure at this time if they will rebuild or not.
As of Thursday afternoon, they were tied up dealing with an insurance adjuster looking into the extensive damage done by the early Thursday morning blaze.
And some news for drivers in Bevier, MoDOT reports that due to the fire at the Pear Tree, Route C in Bevier has been closed for a two-block radius around the building (near Gentry Street). The alternate route for traffic is on Livingston. The road is expected to remain closed overnight Thursday.
A major overnight fire destroyed two historic buildings in downtown Bevier, Missouri, a famous restaurant and a museum.
A raging inferno was not on The Pear Tree's menu early Thursday morning, but the restaurant, known far and wide for its fine dining, is now history, gutted by the far-reaching flames that stretched from the front of the old building to the back.
Bevier resident Mary Summers, who lives about a block from The Pear Tree, is the one who discovered the fire when she took her dogs out. She ran back in and told her husband-to-be.
"I told him, I said, 'Honey, you know there is a fire'," said Summers. "And he said, "Can I see it from the front?' and I said, 'Yes,' and he looked and automatically said that it's The Pear Tree."
Summers' husband-to-be called 911 right around 12:30 a.m. She said there was quite a bit of noise coming from the fire.
"I was hearing crackling and booms,: said Summers. "I didn't know what it was at the present moment, but it was terrifying when I realized it was a structural fire."
Fire crews from Bevier, Callao and rural Macon County battled the blaze, but they were like David going up against the Goliath inferno.
Unfortunately for everyone involved, Goliath won this battle as the blaze also made its way to the neighboring Black Diamond Museum and destroyed it as well.
Summers and some other residents were able to get inside the museum and salvage some historic documents and other items related to Bevier's past.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Witnesses and a firefighter told KTVO the fire appeared to have started in the southeast front section of The Pear Tree, a banquet area of the restaurant called the Rainbow Room.
The owners of The Pear Tree, Mike and Al Abbadessa, were at the scene Thursday morning.
They told KTVO the last person to leave the restaurant left around 10 p.m. Wednesday.
They said there were electric heaters in the Rainbow Room, but Al had shut them off before he left the restaurant Wednesday night.
They said the building is fully insured.
Their main concern in accommodating the 150 groups that were scheduled to have Christmas parties at The Pear Tree.
The Abbadessas said they will try to work those groups in at AJ's, their other restaurant in Macon.