ANDERSON, S.C. (WSPA) – Anderson City Fire Department said firefighters battled a fire early Tuesday morning at Break Time Sports Bar & Grill.
Firefighters responded just after midnight to the business, located on Miracle Mile Drive, according to the fire department. Firefighters were initially responding to a call about a dumpster fire when they saw the restaurant was on fire across the street from the dumpster.
“We were there and watched it for probably an hour and as soon as they could get some of it out, it was just another portion of the building would just started coming up again,” said Eric Phillips, a nearby resident.
Firefighters said everything inside of the building was burned and the roof was completely gone.
The business was not operational at the time of the fire, but the owners were working towards reopening, according to the fire department.
“This has been a staple for Anderson County for 25 to 30 years. I knew it when it was first built and I was in high school,” said Carey Palmer, Owner of Pizza Buffet.
“It’s kind of scary cause I mean everything you read on Facebook, they were coming to a dumpster fire and then when they get here, this is on fire and it’s just too coincidental, like everything catching on fire like it is around here,” said Phillips.
Phillips lives nearby, and saw the blaze from his apartment.
“I thought Ollie’s was on fire again. I honestly thought that’s what it was,” Phillips said.
Last April, 7-News reported about a fire impacting several businesses, including Ollie’s in the strip mall across the street. Phillips is now concerned about this one and others.
“It’s not the first big fire we’ve had in such a small area,” Phillips said. “Like here personally, like just like in the general area, at least five,” he added.
Anderson City Fire Battalion Chief, Ron Branyon, said he doesn’t believe this fire is associated with last year’s fire. The fire department also said there’s not enough evidence to say the “Break Time” fire is arson. Crews did tell 7-News it appeared the fire started on the back side, near a fence.
“It’s kind of sad. There’s nothing else. There’s very limited things to do in Anderson already, and it’s just something else that’s gone now. It just kind of makes you wonder like what else is going to happen around,” Phillips said.
Branyon said the Anderson Arson Task Force, a collaboration with the fire department and the Anderson Police, is investigating.
The fire department will continue to investigate the cause of the fire.
We’ll update this story as information becomes available.