Update: Cedar Rapids restaurant owner reacts to fire cause - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Update: Cedar Rapids restaurant owner reacts to fire cause

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

Village Meat Market & Cafe in Cedar Rapids started fire late Wednesday night, and the owner is reacting to the cause.

St. Patrick's Day is a big event for the business, and Thursday also marks five years they've been in business.

Fire crews were called to the restaurant around 11:00 p.m. Wednesday, after people smelled and saw smoke coming from the back of the building.

Owner, Loraine Thompson, says she's never seen or heard anything quite like it.

Investigators told her, the fire started from an old piece of wood in the corner of their smoke room, and it somehow ignited.

"Well, we lit this place up. There's a celebration for you. We'll be fine," Thompson joked as she tried holding back tears.

Thompson says she hasn't been asleep since she heard the news, and now she's trying to clean up the mess to get her business ready for St. Patrick's Day.

"The wood pile is in the northeast corner of the smoke room. They even came in and measured. We were far enough away. So, basically they marked it down to an old piece of wood that was broken down. I didn't know about the phenomenon. Everybody was in there. The fire department was wonderful, the police department, and everybody was terrific. My neighbors were great. Everybody was great," Thompson said.

Loraine says they plan to reopen the restaurant St. Patrick's Day morning at 8:00.

Even though the fire happened on their fifth anniversary, they plan to celebrate the big achievement during St. Patrick's Day instead.

"Yes, and anybody who wants to help, all they have to do is come and get some corn beef and cabbage on their way to the downtown parade," Thompson said.

Loraine said she smoked corn beef before Wednesday's late night fire, so there will be plenty of meat for St. Patrick's Day.

Loraine says after firefighters doused the flames in their smoke room, they even helped move food into the cooler so it wouldn't spoil for St. Patrick's Day.

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