BEVIER - An early morning blaze Thursday at the historic Pear Tree restaurant left residents of this city without much to say other than how great the place was and reminisce about the memories they made there.
"I used to come down here every day when I was in school for lunch, and there would be about 100 of us school kids just packed into the place," one resident told KOMU 8 News.
The fire broke out a little after midnight Thursday morning. Chris Sumpter said his fiancée was the one who alerted him to the fire, and immediately called 911 after she reported hearing strange popping noises.
Emmalee Tate told KOMU 8 News she used to work at the Pear Tree as a waitress and remembers visiting frequently as a young girl.
"It just makes me sick to see," Tate said.
Tate also said she hopes to see them rebuild the restaurant, as the loss of the Pear Tree affects not only residents of Bevier but many visitors who would drive from as far as Kansas City and St. Louis to eat at the restaurant.
The landmark eating establishment was not the only loss experienced on Thursday. The Black Diamond Antique Shop, which contained many historical artifacts from Bevier, was also destroyed in the fire.
Residents said that the Pear Tree was one of the last remaining things that was holding the town together, and are worried that Bevier will fall apart without its presence.
"All of our history is gone, there is nothing left," one resident told KOMU 8 News.
It took firefighters about three or four hours to control the blaze. Firefighters are still investigating the cause of the fire.
Owners and employees of the Pear Tree met Thursday morning to discuss the possibility of rebuilding the restaurant. No final decision has been made.