BATH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Investigators searched for clues Thursday into the cause of a fire that destroyed a popular restaurant in Bath.
Flames broke out inside the Southgate Family Restaurant last night, several hours after it had closed for the day. Investigators say there’s nothing suspicious about the fire.
For many Bath Iron Works employees, the restaurant was their go to place before work and on their lunch breaks.
“They’ll miss it quite a bit because a lot of them will come here before they go to work, get a coffee or sandwich, if they’re working they’ll take something back and at lunch time they’ll get a quick meal”, said Fred Elwell, a retired shipyard worker.
It was also very popular among the locals.
“I think it’s tragic to see it like this because this is a place people frequent very often. The parking lot is always full, the food is excellent”, said customer Julie Mackie.
For the restaurant’s employees, it was more than just a place to work.
“It’s pretty sad, being here for 10-years, it feels like a family here”, said Greg King, a cook and dishwasher at the restaurant.
King was one of the last people to leave after the restaurant closed at 2pm. He noticed nothing unusual as he walked out the door. Now he’s unsure what the future holds.
“I was supposed to work today, yeah. Now I don’t know what I’m going to do”, he said.
Investigators spent the day focused on the back part of the restaurant where kitchen was located.
“It was noticed by BIW security last night when the fire happened and that’s where they noticed it, in the back of the building and we’re kind of working in that area right now”, said Sgt. Joel Davis of the Maine Fire Marshal's office.
One firefighter who was transported to the hospital was treated and released.