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Lake Hamilton Fire & Rescue Troops responded to the 100 Block of Amity Road this afternoon for the call of a structure fire inside Jason’s On Amity.
Jason’s On Amity (known in the past as “Jason’s Burgers & More”) has occupied this address for at least 13 years that I know of. Jason’s was a very early supporter of the Arkansas 911 News Project when it first began back in 2004, is still a huge supporter today and will be in the future as well.
Jason’s has experienced periods of inactivity and was closed for approximately 2 years before a very enthusiastic opening as “Jason’s On Amity” in April 2019. The restaurant had been remodeled and updated. A brand new salad bar was just installed last week. Old customers were glad to see their favorites back on the menu and new customers welcomed the large variety menu so far south in the county. The community as a whole was doing their part to support the comeback. The restaurant just celebrated their grand opening/ribbon cutting last week.
Then, today around 2:30PM, I was at my Veteran’s Administration Clinic appointment (already with high blood pressure) when Jason called and said the restaurant was on fire. I told him there were fire extinguishers and stuff, close down for a couple of days…clean/replace things, the health department would re-certify everything…not going to be a problem. He said “you don’t understand” real fast and hung up the phone.
Then, I began getting messages from viewers. One viewer sent a very serious looking pic of that nasty, fully involved very dark brown/tan, rolling, silky looking smoke coming out from under the entire roof line. I saw that pic and knew what was fixing to happen. I cut my appointment short and got on down to Amity Road.
I arrived to find Lake Hamilton Fire Chief Doug Davey, Morning Star Fire Chief Nathan Kew and all of their Fire Troops running full speed with water coming out of every nozzle they own. I met with Jason, Megan (his fiancee), Rosie (his mother) and Juliette (his daughter) as well as his staff. Jason’s is closed on Mondays, but the entire staff came down to offer support/comfort and assist as needed.
The fire was huge and destroyed the entire restaurant. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
As we watched the restaurant, along with lots of memories and dreams burn, I asked Jason “what’s the plan”. In his very next breath he said “it’s a big parking lot and we have some tables in storage…food truck. We open tomorrow”. HA! We laughed. But that’s where his heart is. He loves cooking, he loves his Jason’s Troops and he loves his customers. The “Jason’s On Amity Family” were very upset, but remained in good spirits even as it was happening. They are no strangers to adversity and they will get through this too.
The Garland County Sheriff’s Patrol took charge of crowd control and traffic flow during this event and LifeNet dispatched an Ambulance Crew for standby duty.
Traffic flow was interrupted for at least 3 hours.