Mining Camp Restaurant in Apache Junction destroyed by fire

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

The historic Mining Camp Restaurant caught fire early Tuesday morning.

According to the Superstition Fire and Medical District, the restaurant is a total loss.

[SLIDESHOW: Mining Camp Restaurant destroyed by fire]

Fire officials say the hotel located next to the restaurant was remodeled about five months ago. 

When the first crews arrived the scene after 3 a.m., the fire was already working heavily in the attic space. 

Superstition Fire officials said the fire and smoke were too heavy and not safe to get inside, so they went defensive. 

The owners of the restaurant were at the hotel when the fire started, according to the Superstition Fire and Medical District. 

[RAW: Drone video of Mining Camp restaurant after fire]

[VIDEO: Mining Camp owners' grandson reacts to fire]

According to the Jake Whitten, the grandson of the owners, he said the fire was not the way they wanted to wake up Tuesday morning. Whitten added that all that matters is that everyone got out.

Fire officials say the owners were not aware of the fire until the firefighters woke them up. The residents were able to escape the fire without any injuries. 

The restaurant is located just east of North Apache Trail and Mountain View Road

According to the restaurant's website, Mining Camp has been around the area since 1961. The building is a total loss. 

A lot of people feel they lost not only a good place to eat, but part of their own history as well.

Holidays, birthdays, weddings, were all celebrated the Mining Camp.

The fire left the barn and the hotel intact but the heart of it, the restaurant, there's not much left other than memories.

"The smells and the sounds of the wood floors and all of the noises and the views," said Jennifer Moore, who remembers coming to the mining camp as a child with her grandmother.

"She actually passed away about 25 years ago,” said Moore. Which is why she chose to get married there back in March.

"So having the wedding there was a way for me was, for me it was having her at my wedding," said Moore.  

Tuesday afternoon Moore’s father, Alex Garcia stopped by to snap a few photos of what it looks like now.

“She called crying and said 'Dad you need to go take pictures,’" said Garcia.  

Thankfully brides like Moore still have their wedding photos to remember the old restaurant, which is now a total loss.

"Fingers crossed they rebuild. I know that's going to be up to the owners. But we were kind of looking forward to every year going back for our anniversary and that being kind of an anniversary dinner," said Moore.

The owners are equally stunned. Their family says they are taking the next few days to process this loss before deciding what to do next.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. 

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