Mining Camp restaurant destroyed in fire plans to rebuild

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Owners of a beloved East Valley restaurant say they planned to rebuild. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Owners of a beloved East Valley restaurant say they planned to rebuild. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
A museum inside the brand-new Mining Camp restaurant is to be rebuilt as soon as possible. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) A museum inside the brand-new Mining Camp restaurant is to be rebuilt as soon as possible. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
On July 25, a leaky roof sparked a fire at the Mining Camp restaurant. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) On July 25, a leaky roof sparked a fire at the Mining Camp restaurant. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
APACHE JUNCTION, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A beloved East Valley restaurant is rising from the ashes. A fire destroyed the Mining Camp. Now the owners say they plan to rebuild.

Vinton Fugate built the Mining Camp restaurant, located just east of North Apache Trail and Mountain View Road, into what it is today. And now he's the one tearing it down.

"It hurts, it hurts. I have my moments," said Fugate.

On July 25, a leaky roof sparked a fire. The restaurant was engulfed in flames in mere minutes.

[ORIGINAL STORY: Mining Camp Restaurant in Apache Junction destroyed by fire]

"It was very disappointing,” said Fugate.

The building was a total loss. The damage estimated as high as $1.5 million.

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

"This is my bake shop that I baked in for 45 years,” said Fugate. “When the roof collapsed from the weight, it just all came down inside."

The fire burned so hot metal melted.

[SLIDESHOW: Mining Camp Restaurant destroyed by fire]

The day after the fire, the Fugates say they had problems with looters, people trying to take a souvenir for themselves.

The artifacts they could recover are being saved for a very special reason. 

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

"We're going to try to create a little museum of fire relics,” said Fugate.

A museum inside the brand-new Mining Camp restaurant is to be rebuilt as soon as possible.

"It's going to be a challenge. It's going to be a battle all the way. Today we broke four water pipes," said Fugate.

They'll use the same footprint and stick to the theme of family and community because that's exactly what has helped them through this difficult time.

"This is my wife and I's [sic] restaurant, our family's restaurant, the state of Arizona’s restaurant,” said Fugate. “That's the way we feel."

 They hope to reopen by Jan. 1, 2018. 

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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

Click to learn more about Lauren.

Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

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