FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WKRN) — The doors of the Red Pony restaurant on downtown Franklin’s Main Street will remain closed for the foreseeable future after a huge fire broke out inside the restaurant this weekend.
The fire happened Saturday morning around 4 a.m. Franklin Fire Battalion Chief Joe Polenzani says his crews arrived on-scene and found large flames and heavy smoke.
“The first arriving crews encountered a large fire on the exterior of the building behind the restaurant,” Polenzani said. “We were hampered in our initial firefighting efforts by a gas line that fed the restaurant and the adjoining structures. The meter had been burned away by the fire and it required admirals to come in and cut off the gas supply to the entire block.”
Red Pony operations manager Sharon Davis told News 2 an explosion happened on the backside of the building. It severely damaged the restaurant’s storage area, patio, walk-in coolers and private room.
Polenzani estimated the fire caused about $300,000 dollars in damages, but Davis said most of the interior and original historic portion is OK.
Firefighters contained the blaze to the Red Pony, but some nearby shops were temporarily closed as clean up continued.
Franklin resident Kayla Devine said she’s never seen anything like this in her hometown.
“It was shocking. It’s so sad and I feel so bad for the owners to have to realize that this just happened. I can’t even imagine what’s going on in their head,” Devine said. “I couldn’t even imagine that that happened, especially in Franklin. It’s just so sad with all the businesses struggling because of COVID; the fire is making it worse now.”
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but no one was injured in the blaze.
If you’d like to support the owners of Red Pony, you can dine at their other restaurants, 55 South and Cork & Cow. You can also purchase gift cards to the eateries.