An early morning fire destroyed a catering business and an apartment Sunday in downtown Jacksonville.
Firefighters say the fire started at around midnight and destroyed Yum Yums Texas Style catering company in the 200 block of South Main Street in Jacksonville.
"That's what he wanted to do is have a restaurant and run it and now we're going to have to start over," says Crystal Choate, whose husband, Johnny Marquez, co-owns Yum Yums Texas Style with another man, Robert Lane.
One of the company's owners lived above the restaurant with his wife and a fellow Yum Yums Texas Style employee.
"Just about everything we own, with the exception of a couch we have in storage, is gone. It's all gone," Choate says.
The employee, whose name is Geral, was the only person home when the fire started. He told bystanders he woke up to a loud noise and smoke.
"The young man was saying he lived upstairs but he got out, but he heard a loud boom," says Michael Hughes, who lives down the street from the fire and spoke with Geral as the building burned.
Hughes says the fire drew a large crowd, "They were just amazed at the history going down."
"It was just a blaze everywhere and it was really sad, that whole thing was just an inferno," says Foster Carter, who watched the fire and took video with his cell phone.
Firefighters say nothing from the restaurant or the apartment could be saved. Still, the families say they will not let this fire shatter their dreams.
"If it takes all of my blood sweat and tears, I'll get him his restaurant someplace else, somewhere, somehow. He'll have his dream, I'll make sure of it," Choate says.
They have each other and that's what matters most.
Officials are still investigating what started the fire. Jacksonville firefighters say part of Main Street will be blocked off until Monday so they can continue to monitor the fire. They say the brick walls left standing are unsafe and will have to be torn down.
Several businesses around Yum Yums Texas Style have water and smoke damage.
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