A Tarpon Springs restaurant caught fire Tuesday evening, leading the manager to help customers out as smoke crept into the dining room.
“I was inside and we saw a thin white cloud of smoke,” said Karly Schank, an employee of the Tarpon Tap House at 701 N. Pinellas Ave.
That thin cloud soon turned into an inferno. Fire officials consider the building a total loss.
“We didn't see flames until about 10 minutes after we were outside – probably 15 minutes,” she said. “When the firefighters cut open the roof, that’s when we saw the flames burst out."
A cellphone video shows smoke and flames ripping through the top of the restaurant.
Firefighters did what they could to get the fire under control, dumping gallon after gallon of water on the flames.
Schank said she has been there since the restaurant opened, and to see it burn to the ground is difficult
“I wish we could get this place back up, but it's probably not going to happen,” she said. “Maybe we can start somewhere new."