Overnight Fire Destroys St. Charles Restaurant

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ST. CHARLES, MO (KTVI)- A three alarm fire ripped through the Hot Shots Bar and Grill overnight in St. Charles. The restaurant, located on Country Club Plaza Dr. off Highway 94, appears to be a total loss.  Fire broke out a little before 3:00am Saturday.

Flames were shooting out of the roof when firefighters arrived. Investigators say the heaviest damage appears to be in the kitchen area and that's where they'll look for the cause of what happened.

"Very heavy damage inside the Hot Shots," St. Charles Fire Captain Dan Casey said.  "One of our concerns was we had a little bit of roof sagging and we had some crews inside when the fire was going.  We were concerned we might have to evacuate the crews inside due to a possible roof collapse.  So some pretty hairy moments."

An adjacent business location is vacant and firefighters forced their way in to keep this from spreading to the rest of this strip mall.  There are more than a dozen businesses there.

Among them is an Outback Steakhouse two doors down that only received minor smoke damage. Officials were expecting to open as planned Saturday afternoon, and they say they have firefighters to thank for that :"minor miracle."

"Absolutely. It’s amazing," General Manager Joe Melton said.  "Just watching these guys work. To have the privilege of being here is amazing.  I love it.  And they saved our business.  We’re gonna be open today because of them."

The Country Club Place Strip Mall's manager says she was given bad information at first, told in a phone call the entire mall was up in flame.  Pulling up to the scene, with dozens of rescuers fighting the fire, didn't calm that image.

"I thought the whole mall was probably gone because It looks to me like there was about thirty fire trucks and police everywhere," Pat Guy said.

The owner of Hot Shots wasn't up for doing an interview, but told FOX 2 the restaurant appears to be a total loss.

No one was injured in the early morning fire.