A family in White Bluff lost the business they owned for 30 years to a fire on Thursday morning.
The White Bluff Fire Chief, Eric Deal, says the Hog Heaven Family Restaurant is a total loss. The restaurant off Highway 70, charred and smothered in ash, once was heaven on earth for Linda Gentry.
She started the restaurant with her husband, Lawrence. It was a place where they cooked up three meals a day, serving turkey, bologna, BBQ, and steaks.
“We have people waiting at the door at 7 o’clock when we open,” explains Gentry.
On Thursday, the doors didn’t have a chance to open. Gentry said that they closed the restaurant with a gas leak to the mainline a couple of days ago. Deal said the gas company shut off, repaired, and turned back on the gas line Thursday morning.
“And in 15 to 20 minutes, it was on fire,” Gentry said. “And I’m not blaming them because I don’t know.”
Deal said a passerby spotted the flames and reported it. They say no one was inside at the time, and no one was hurt.
For Gentry, this is the second loss she suffered this year. Her husband, Lawrence, passed away in April after a pulmonary bypass during surgery. So a person and the piece of heaven they built together are both gone.
“I wanted to cry,” Gentry said. “I put in a lot of long hard hours right there. I feel like I’ve been there half my life.”
The Gentry family says they do plan to rebuild. Unfortunately, this building was not covered by insurance.
A Dickson County fire marshal will be investigating the cause of the fire.