UPDATE: For 65 years there's been a restaurant in the same location on Rankin Avenue, but now Land's Restaurant in Dunlap is gone after a fire that started Wednesday night.

Fire officials say a preliminary report shows it was a grease fire, and the fire was too big to extinguish, so they had to let the building burn.

Many community members watched as Land's transitioned over the years.

Fire Chief Norman Hatfield says this was the first fire this restaurant had since it was built in 1953.

Derrick Dice helped to remodel Land's. Dice says getting the phone call about the fire was emotional.

“I was more or less stunned, and shocked because it brought tears to my eyes because of its history,” Dice explained.

Chief Norman Hatfield says they got a call around 11:00pm Wednesday night, and the police department was first on the scene.

“They noticed a fire coming out of the roof around the grease traps,” said  Hatfield.

Nobody was hurt in the fire.

Hatfield says multiple renovations to the building made it difficult for firefighters to get to the source of the fire.

“The fire started high. Each time the building got remodeled, they added another roof, and each time they added another crawlspace,” said Hatfield.

Long-time resident Chief Hatfield even took a few moments to talk about his younger years at Land's which was once Win-Bobs.

“Dairy bars and hot rods. All the young people met at the dairy bar, and there's a lot of people who had a lot of memories here,” said Hatfield.

The fire burned for many hours, giving several community members time to pay their respects to the historic site.

Anna Massengale who has worked morning shift here for five years says she prepared to start her day the same as always.

“Put the biscuits in, the pinto beans on, and make the gravy,” said Massengale explaining her duties.

Now, she and her coworkers like Christopher Cross have to make other plans for their day.

“I didn't know what to think. Now here it is the holiday season, and I'm going to be job hunting,” said Christopher Cross.

The owners did not have insurance for the building, but they plan to rebuild a restaurant in the same location.

Right now, they are not sure how long it will take, but they want to keep it as original as possible.


PREVIOUS STORY: Rankin Avenue is back open as firefighters remain on scene at Land's Restaurant.  An overnight fire destroyed the local landmark.

A fire official says the fire started around 11:00 p.m. Central. 

A preliminary investigation shows the fire started in the kitchen possibly from the grease trap. 

The restaurant has been there since 1953.  It was first opened as "Win Bobs".

We'll continue to update this story as more information becomes available.

PREVIOUS STORY: A fire broke out at a Dunlap business early Thursday morning.

Sequatchie County dispatchers tell us crews from Dunlap, Walden's Ridge, and Puckett Emergency Services responded to Land's Restaurant around 1 a.m.

The building is located on Rankin Avenue, and dispatchers say the road will be closed to traffic while firefighters are on the scene.

No one was inside the building at the time of the fire, but viewer photos show flames coming from just under the roof.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.