HOUSTON (KTRK) --A community is in disbelief after a two-alarm fire damaged a north Houston restaurant owned by a former Houston city councilman.
According to the Houston Fire Department, firefighters were dispatched just after 9pm Monday to the 5400 block of Interstate 45. They arrived on scene to find smoke and fire shooting out of the roof of Aunt Bea's restaurant.
It took about 80 firefighters and 30 minutes to get the blaze under control. No injuries were reported, but officials say the restaurant sustained heavy fire and smoke damage.
According to the restaurant's website, Aunt Bea's has been open for more than 70 years and is a popular destination for many residents in the area. Former Houston City Council member Jarvis Johnson bought it five years ago.
"It's an unfortunate situation, but we're going to be resilient. I'm happy that my staff is out. I'm happy that nobody got hurt," Johnson said. "This is more than a restaurant. This is a community, this is a family community."
Customers who were at the scene Monday night were crying.
"I don't know what to tell my mom. I don't know what to tell my neighbors. I don't know what to tell nobody, but it's gone," customer Timmy Sanders said.
Jarvis said the fire won't mark the end of Aunt Bea's legacy.
"We will rebuild. This is a place where we want to give people opportunities to work," Jarvis said.
Arson investigators are at the scene to investigate the cause of the blaze.