Fire forces Mt. Pleasant restaurant to close temporarily

John Gaddy (WCIV)

By Stacy

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- Less than a week after a fire forced Anson Restaurant to close its doors for the holidays, the same has happened to Mount Pleasant restaurant and inn, Carter's Kitchen and The Inn at I'On.

Owner Mike Russo said investigators told him the fire started in a recycling bin behind the restaurant. He said it could've been started by a cigarette or anything else that combusted inside the bin.

It happened around 2:15 a.m. Sunday.

The fire took out the phone lines at the restaurant, which kept the alarm from alerting firefighters. Russo said it also took out the walk-in freezer, a cooler, a storage facility, the HVAC units and the hot water heaters behind the building. No one was injured and the restaurant did not sustain interior damage, Russo said.

Gaye Adams lives next door. She and her daughter Robin evacuated once they saw the fire ignite. She didn't realize her phone call to 911 was one of the reasons the damage wasn't as bad as it could've been.

But with an estimated closure of one to two weeks, the restaurant will take a big financial hit, Russo said. New Year's Eve is usually Carter's Kitchen's busiest night of the year.

"We had over 150 reservations for that evening," Russo said. "More importantly than just New Year's Eve, also there's Charleston Restaurant Week."

Still, Russo knew they were lucky not to sustain any interior damage. And for Adams and her young daughter, they said they were grateful the fire did not spread.

"It's just really crazy and it makes me shiver even thinking about it," Robin Adams said.

"We will never complain of the sound of the sirens anymore," Gaye Adams said.

Now when Gaye Adams hears sirens, she thinks of them as angels, she said.

The inn and restaurant owners do not yet have an estimate for the damage. They want to try to re-open by Jan. 8, the start of Charleston Restaurant Week.

The Inn at I'On had 11 guests at the time of the fire, Russo said. All were evacuated and offered other accommodations provided by the Inn.

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