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Pike Co. Fire Destroys Emmitt House, Owner's Dreams to Revive Restaurant

PIKE COUNTY -- A historic building in Waverly came down Tuesday after going up in flames Monday night.

Not much was left of the Emmitt House after crews responded to the fire. What remained was encased in ice.

Demolition crews removed what was left of the structure and, with it, the dreams of the owner.

"I did fall in the love with the building." Pam Isom said. "There was just so much potential."

Isom had spent the summer re-building the Emmitt House Restaurant -- a landmark that had sat empty for years.

Last night's business was good, Isom said.

"We had a pretty packed house in there," she said. "All the ballgames were on. All the TVs were on. People were eating dinner."

Her shift manager got everyone out when he smelled smoke.

"I was the last one out," manager Cody Shope said. "When I went back in, it was completely full of smoke. I had to come back out."

He said there was an explosion just moments after he escaped.

"It was pretty scary," he said.

Isom said she held onto hope as she watched it burn during the night.

"I thought we were going to lose the bakery and the exercise studio, but I thought the building was going to be able to be saved," she said.

When she saw it Tuesday morning, however, she knew it was a total loss.

Friends saved the historical marker.

"She put her life savings in there," Shope said. "This was her life. And if she wants to rebuild I'm going to be here to help her."

The state fire marshal had not immediately determined the cause of the fire. Investigators said they want to see video and pictures witnesses may have captured.

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