LOON LAKE, WA -- A well known landmark in the town of Loon Lake is now gone.
Tuesday morning, a kitchen fire destroyed The Dinner Bell Restaurant located just off of Highway 395. Now the community says the business will be sorely missed.
The owners say they are still trying to come to grips with what happened. The business has been open every day for the last 20 years, so for Bill and Janet Johnson the fire seems surreal.
For the Dinner Bell’s customers it was more than a restaurant, it was a place for them to come together. Now it is a pile of charred rubble. Officials say around 7:00 am Tuesday morning crews from Stevens County and Spokane County received a call about a grease fire in the kitchen. The fire crept up the stove hood and got in between the ceiling and the roof. More crews arrived to fight the flames from the outside, but the roof still ended up collapsing.
The owners say their restaurant was one of the first places built in the town along with the hardware store. For them, the customers, and its ten employees, Dinner Bell was a home away from home.
The business was insured, but the owners are uncertain whether the Dinner Bell will ring again.