TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5)-- A popular Tempe restaurant went up in flames because of a lit cigarette, Arizona’s Family learned Monday.
Doc and Eddy’s restaurant and bar, which once stood near Rural and Baseline roads, is nothing but four walls now. A massive fire ripped through the inside Sunday morning.
“It's just… it's shocking. You see it on the news, but until it happens it's a completely different ball game,” said general manager Sean Cleary. “It’s a 100 percent loss.”
Tempe Fire Department spokeswoman Andrea Glass said investigators have confirmed that the cause of the fire was an improperly discarded cigarette. It appears that someone dumped an ash tray into a trash can and one of the cigarettes was not completely extinguished.
"It's really, really hard," Cleary said. "But all things said and done, it could've been a lot worse, there was no loss of life."
Cleary said the restaurant did not have a sprinkler system because it wasn’t a requirement to have them installed when the building was originally built. He also said they plan to rebuild.
“We'll make it bigger and better. I mean, we'll get everybody back here, our Doc and Eddy's family and we'll have a big, big, big party. And hopefully it's going to happen sooner or later,” Cleary said.
Several employees stood outside of the bar on Monday as they tried to figure out their next steps.
"It feels like a piece of me is gone, feels like I lost a family member. It's really hard, it was really hard sitting here watching the fire," said Giovanni Pignata, a bartender who has worked there for 19 years. "It's really hard to explain because we're going to reopen someday, but I'm not sure if it's ever going to be the same."
Employees said Doc and Eddy's is their home and the staff and patrons have become their family.
"I've been coming here since I was 21 and it's quite a shame, this place was awesome-- good place to shoot pool, meet friends and have a good time," said Cody Fish. "It just goes to show, you never truly know, you know? Things can change in the drop of a second."
The Doc and Eddy’s owners are taking donations via their GoFundMe page, and all the money raised will go toward staff.
"We've got 33 employees that don't have jobs, we have 33 employees that have bills," Cleary said.
Cleary said they're taking everything day by day, but hope to reopen by the start of football season.