After hours of examining the charred remains of the Kernville Steak and Seafood House, just south of Lincoln City, fire investigators say they need to be able to actually go inside what’s left in order to track Friday night’s fire back to its point of origin. They say the building is too unstable to have anyone go inside. There also still remains hot spots that were doused throughout the day, there on Siletz Highway just east of Highway 101.
Early witnesses said that flames were initially seen from the kitchen area but that hasn’t jived so far with what fire investigators have been able to see during a cursory view of the building’s interior. They said they will be back on Monday to resume their investigation. The restaurant crew said they left the building at around 11:30. The fire broke out probably within 30 to 45 minutes after that.
One thing that is confirmed is that the old classic cedar restaurant and bar has suffered the same fate as the recent demise of the also historic Crab Pot Restaurant and Seafood Market in Taft. There the cause was determined to be related to a seafood smoker. No word yet whether Crab Pot owner Allen Black will rebuild.
But whatever the cause turns out to be at the Kernville Steak and Seafood House, owners Michael and Theresa Thompson still need to rack their brains as to how to rebuild and perhaps re-open at a temporary location while the restaurant is rebuilt. That is, if they can find the resources.
A plea is going out to the community with some thought given to running a loud and consistent bullhorn on any of a number of internet donation websites that have proven quite effective at raising money based on their national and international draw.
More to come in the weeks ahead.