Milk Bottle and Ferguson's owners plan to rebuild



Posted on September 25, 2011 at 9:27 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 24 at 12:54 PM

SPOKANE – Officials say a massive fire that broke out in a popular Spokane restaurant Sunday night was sparked in an open area outside the business.

Firefighters were called to Garland and Post at 8:42 p.m. for reports of a fire in The Milk Bottle. Crews arrived to find the restaurant along with Ferguson’s Café in flames.

The fire department said a large amount of combustibles were on the ground next to the restaurant . Officials said the fire reached a natural gas meter, which intensified the fire growth.

Firefighters said the fire spread quickly, and both buildings were engulfed by the time they reached the scene.  They also found that they had an active gas line to deal with, which made fighting the fire difficult.

The fire was under control by 10:40 p.m. In all in took 50 firefighters to battle the fire.
Owner of Ferguson’s Dave Jones recently finished a renovation of his restaurant, but now says his business it a total loss. Jones said he also feels concerned about his employees who are now without jobs.

Several area residents stood outside as crews fought the flames, and many expressed their disbelief.

“It’s kind of a sense of sadness and loss. It’s just as much our home as anything else. We go there for lunch, they deliver it to us when we shoot pool. It’s a tragedy. It’s really sad,” Lisa Byrd, a frequent customer of The Milk Bottle, said.

Kris Ritchi the owner of  Mary Lou's Milk Bottle says they need a new roof and some new equipment, but she is amazed there is so much standing still. 

Dave Jones renovated and re-opended ferguson's café 14 months ago. Officials say the fire raced through ferguson's attic destroying the building. Jones plans to rebuild.

Damage to both buildings is estimated at more than $1 million. 

The cause of the fire is under investigation. The total loss is expected to be more than $1 million.

The Milk Bottle is a Spokane Icon.  It was built in 1932 and made the national spotlight during the 1993 Movie, Benny and Joon.  Scenes from that movie were also shot inside Ferguson's Cafe.