Crews battle Saturday morning restaurant fire in Franklin

Franklin Fire - Red Pony.jfif
Posted at 7:40 AM, Jan 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-23 19:12:55-05

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — A fire that ravaged a restaurant on Main Street in Franklin Saturday morning has been extinguished.

Franklin Fire Department shared details of the fire via Twitter. Crews were dispatched to a fire alarm at the Red Pony on the 400 block of Main Street around 4 a.m. When they arrived, they encountered a large fire at the back exterior of the restaurant.

Franklin Fire Battalion Chief Joe Polenzani said the fire was burning for some amount of time before crews were even notified by the alarm. Heat from the fire caused two fire sprinkler heads on the second floor to activate, triggering the automatic fire alarm and the fire crews' response.

Initial efforts to contain the fire were hampered by a gas line, due to the gas meter having been burned away. Atmos Energy was called to the scene to cut off the gas supply to the entire block.

The building was unoccupied at the time of the fire. There were no injuries in the incident.

Mary Stadola was one of many who came over to the back of the building to witness the damage for herself. Her daughter worked a shift at Red Pony Friday night. "She’s sad -- this is where she works," said Stadola.

While she's devastated to see what Franklin has lost, she knows this won't be the final farewell.

"When we lose history, we lose buildings like this. Yea, it’s very sad," said said. "There’s no question. He will rebuild this."

A note on the front door of Red Pony seems to confirm that. It reads, "Closed due to fire, be back ASAP!"

Red Pony is estimated to have suffered approximately $300,000 in damage. An adjoining business, Walton's Antique and Estate Jewelry, sustained about $10,000 in damage.