Neighbors react to fire at popular Henrico restaurant

Source: Vickie Pittman
Source: Vickie Pittman
Source: Erwin Paul van Beveren
Source: Erwin Paul van Beveren

By: Yvette Yeon – bio | email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - An update on a fire in Henrico early Sunday morning that destroyed a restaurant on Williamsburg Road.

It was day break and hot flames flared into the morning sky with gray smoke seeping through the roof shingles - as fire fighters fought to put out the burning building out. But long before the sun came up and fire crews got a clear view of the damage at Moon Garden Chinese Restaurant. Vickie and Ed Pittman shot several images from their camera just as crews arrived on-scene.

"I heard what sounded like loud glass shattering in that area," said Ed. "Probably 20 minutes later I heard the sirens."

The Pittmans live just a block away from the restaurant located in the 3400 block of Williamsburg Road.

"The flames were just shooting out of the building so fast," said Vickie.

"There were extremely high flames," said Ed. "It was hot, a lot of smoke, a lot of rescue workers, they were on the ball."

Stunned and in disbelief the Pittmans watched as firefighters wrestled with the flames that in the end completely destroyed the building.

"It was amazing because so many rescuers were coming very fast and they took over really quick and they had the cherry pickers from both sides, shooting water in the flames it just kept coming," said Vickie.

Moon Garden has been around for decades - a popular restaurant for locals.

"It always had plenty of cars we had been there, very nice restaurant, good food, nice people, it's an amazing thing to see it gone in the neighborhood," Ed said.

Henrico fire officials say they've collected evidence at the scene. It could be as early as Monday morning until investigators get a better handle on what caused this fire.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.