Firefighters respond to blaze at Lake Wylie restaurant

cmuccigrosso@lakewyliepilot.comMarch 27, 2014 

About 70 customers and employees were inside Cafe 49 restaurant and bar in Lake Wylie Thursday night when a fire was discovered in the ceiling, according to the restaurant's owners.

Everyone escaped unharmed, said Jim Roupas, who owns the restaurant along with his wife, Mary.

Roupas said he smelled wood burning inside his restaurant just before someone came in and said the roof was on fire. The restaurant filled with smoke pretty quickly, he said.

Roupas does not believe much damage was done inside the restaurant. "We'll do a cleanup and try to open as soon as possible," said Roupas, who has owned the restaurant for about six years.

"Everyone in the community has been so caring," he said. "They've been stopping by to make sure we're okay."

Mary Roupas said the "support has been beyond words."

With teary eyes, Mary Roupas said, "We're very blessed because it could have been worse."

Between 50 and 60 customers were in the restaurant when the fire was discovered about 7:15 p.m. About 10 employees were on duty.

The Bethel, Steele Creek and Clover fire departments responded.

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