BY MELANIE BUCK –
Mena Fire Department responded to a fire call at 5:05 p.m. today concerning a fire at The Chopping Block restaurant on Hwy. 71 N in Mena. According to Fire Chief John Puckett, three pumper trucks arrived on the scene when they realized it was not the restaurant itself, but the ‘smokehouse building’ that sits adjacent to the main restaurant. It took firefighters around 3-4 minutes to extinguish the blaze.
William Rainey, owner of The Chopping Block, reported that an employee had failed to close the lid on the smoker inside the building which caused the fire. No one was injured; however, the building is a total loss. Rainey also stated that there are no worries about not having their famous smoked meats, they’ll just have to go back to the old fashion way until a new building is completed.
There were electrical lines above the building that may have been damaged so the restaurant will remain closed until those lines are checked and cleared by the service provider. Rainey is hopeful that they will re-open tonight.