The rising air made the steel door to the staircase rattle like someone was trying to escape. When the slate pool tables exploded, the falling balls sounded like running feet upstairs. I also remember that the fire alarm sounded shortly AFTER the firetrucks arrived — I think it was actually a fireman alarm that was triggered by the presence of fire-personnel.
I had no idea how bad the fire was, so the customers left in a nice orderly fashion, thinking they would return quickly. I may have even said, ‘Folks, I’ve been alerted there is a small fire upstairs, we will need everyone to line up here and slowly head out the back door until we get this resolved.’
I didn’t know how bad the fire was until I went back into the cafe to grab the till and Wes came running out yelling, ‘Get the #$%! out!’ There was a mean looking black cloud billowing up behind him, so we ran out the back door and the windows above us exploded Ron Howard style.
— Kyle Doane