by Nancy Stiles
A fire at the restaurant at Nathalie Pettus' Overlook Farm (901 South Highway 79, Clarksville; 573-242-3838) early this morning burned the building to the ground, Pettus tells Gut Check. No one was hurt, but as of now she doesn't know what caused the fire.
"We will rebuild; we will be fine. No one's losing their job. We just go forward," Pettus says.
"It's all to the ground," Pettus says. The fire occurred around 2 a.m. Pettus was in Clarksville Station instead of St. Louis.
UPDATE 11:04 AM: Clarksville mayor Jane Smiley arrived at Overlook shortly after the volunteer fire department. It's located right next door, and Smiley says they were able to come right over. "I was there at two o'clock, and the whole thing was consumed by fire," she says.
Fire chief Joe Mabry tells us the fire was "fairly involved" by the time the firefighters arrived, and they focused their efforts on keeping the flames away from the back courtyard area, which was the least damaged part of the building. Mabry says they worked on it for about an hour or an hour and a half; pretty much everything besides the original brick walls is on the ground.
Mabry also says the state fire marshal is already on the scene, but it's still too hot for him to go inside and inspect the building. "I've been inside with my fire boots and everything, but there's still some debris that's burning," he says. "It's easier to let it burn down. With everything piled on top of it, you're just wasting water."
Mabry, Smiley and Pettus still have no indication as to what caused the fire.
"We go forward," Pettus says. More as we learn it.