NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Some businesses in North Little Rock are putting up the closed sign while they clean up the mess left behind from a Monday evening fire.
The North Bar just off John F. Kennedy Boulevard in North Little Rock caught fire around 7 p.m. Monday. On Tuesday, several nearby businesses began the clean-up process.
“I was scared, I was like, ‘Oh my god it was probably in here,’” Marcos Moctezuma said.
Moctezuma owns Mariscos La Corita which is two doors down from North Bar. He said he got a call from his employees about smoke in the restaurant.
“They tell me that there was a lot of smoke, and they don’t know where the smoke was coming from,” Moctezuma said.
Moctezuma said he instructed his employees and customers to get out of the building.
“Don’t worry about the meal, don’t worry about the money, the most important thing is to just get out and go to a safe place,” Moctezuma said.
The North Little Rock Fire Department dispatched crews to the fire shortly after 7:05 p.m. North Bar was closed at the time of the fire.
NLRFD Assistant Fire Marshal Chris Patton described the initial reaction to the call.
“The [leading crew] has got a lot going through his head whenever you get a call like that,” Patton said.
He said crews managed to locate where the fire had been.
“They did find that the fire was in a storage room area,” Patton said.
NLRFD officials said North Bar sustained some serious smoke damage to the walls and appliances. Nearby restaurants had smoke-covered floors and a lingering smell.
“The smoke is in the walls, in the floor, and the tables,” Moctezuma described.
Moctezuma said it could be days before his restaurant reopens. Right now, he said his thoughts go out to the North Bar owner.
“I tell [the owner] the most important thing is nobody got hurt,” Moctezuma said.
The NLRFD is still investigating the cause of the fire.