RESTAURANT RUINED: Fire Destroys Business

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Firefighters spent the night in the brutal cold in Jefferson.  An early morning fire left a decades old family business in ruins Sunday.

"Shortly after midnight we got the call that this building was on fire," says Jefferson Fire Chief Randy Love.

Love was one of the first on scene at Larry's Restaurant and Lounge.  He says the smoke was coming out the two vents on both ends of the building. 

"It didn't take long.  It just burned so fast," says owner Larry Most.

Most watched helplessly as his family business of more than 30 years went up in smoke.

"I don't know how to describe it.  It's kind of our retirement.  That's what it was going to be," he says.

Firefighters tried to save his nest egg, but it was too late.

"They had a dropped ceiling in there too that was starting to come down so we basically had to pull everyone out," says Love.

The bitter cold also proved to be a challenge for firefighters.  The water turned to ice and caused firefighters to slip and fall.  One was taken to the hospital and treated for bruised ribs.

For Most, his namesake was more than just a business, it was his home.   He and his wife used to live in the back of the building.  They stored pictures and keepsakes like his wife's wedding dress there.

"You just don't know the feeling until it happens to you.  There are just things that you will never replace.  Thank God nobody was in there," says Most.

Investigators are still trying to determine how the fire started.

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