WELEETKA — Gail Moore watched at a safe distance as her business, the only cafe in town, burned to the ground.
"They fought a good battle, but everything is gone,” Moore said, choking back tears.
"It was unreal when I saw the flames coming through the top of the building. It’s the most helpless feeling.”
K&G Roundup Cafe, 113 W Main, was well-known for its hearty helpings of chicken-fried steak and other home-style dishes. It was one of five businesses on the block destroyed by fire Friday.
Weleetka Floral and Gifts, an embroidery shop and a gymnastics studio also burned.
Flower shop manager Janis Anglin said she returned about 9:30 a.m. from making a delivery and saw smoke billowing from the building. She ran across the street to a grocery store and called emergency services.
"There were horrific flames, and it got so hot the windows just blew out of the whole block,” she said.
Shop owner David Majors heard of the fire while at his brother’s funeral, she said.
The flower shop was the only one in the town of fewer than 1,100 people.
Weleetka Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jimpsey Micco said the cause of the fire hasn’t been determined, but the buildings are old and electrical problems could be the cause. He said volunteers responded immediately, and within an hour firefighters from eight other departments joined.
"It wiped out a city block,” Micco said.
"We’re very disappointed we couldn’t have saved any of them.”
ANN KELLEY, Staff Writer