A fire that started in the kitchen and quickly spread is being blamed for destroying the Ram's Horn restaurant in Livonia.
The popular eatery on Middlebelt south of 8 Mile was serving a lunch-time crowd of customers when the fire broke out.
Strong winds whipped the smoke and flames as Livonia firefighters perched on ladder trucks sprayed water from above while other crews, armed with heavy hoses, worked from the ground. Still the fire continued to burn, the building eventually just crumbling.
Kenneth Thompson was washing dishes when he was told the fryer caught fire. "I was told to get away from the wall by the dishwasher. Just thank God we got out of there safely," he said.
Michael Anuszkiesicz is the cook who initially warned that something was very wrong. "I looked over and noticed the fryer started flaming so I told the manager to get everybody out of the restaurant." Michael tried to get the gas shut off but the grease was going he said once grease fires light up, you can't get control of them. Livonia Firefighters sure tried, the fire moving so fast it spread to the entire building.
21 Firefighters from all five of Livonia's stations were on scene, crews that included an inspector, and the fire marshal, everyone rotating through.
Longtime Ram's Horn customer, Steven Soderquist, was having a cup of coffee when the fire started - he's sad to see the place literally go up in smoke. "I've been going to the Ram's Horn since 1984, I've been a customer ever since. So I've been coming here for a long time, I love the restaurant" he said.
But store operator Stephen Diehr says they'll be back. "My partners, this is their baby. So even if they have to tear the rest of the building down they'll rebuild it. We'll be back. We've been here too long to just call it quits now" Diehr said.
And as for rebuilding, fire crews on the scene say the restaurant suffered a fire in the 1990's and they were able to rebuild. They anticipate they will be able to do that once again.