Crow#039;s Nest catches fire Thursday afternoon

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 14, 2003

A popular Andalusia restaurant will close its doors - for

while anyway. Crow's Nest Barbecue on the Bypass caught fire about 2:45 p.m. Thursday afternoon, with the kitchen area a total loss.

"It appears to have started around the grill, in the cooking area," said Lt. Jeff Holland with the Andalusia Fire Department.

"We'll rebuild," said Bobby Wilson, whose family owns and operates the Crow's nest. "If there's anything left to rebuild on."

The fire apprantly began in the kitchen, which was destroyed, and while it did not seem to have penetrated far into the dining area, that section may sustain smoke and water damage.

At one point, while Capt. Earl Steele was fighting the blaze from an open doorway, flames traveled through the venitilation shaft and into the air conditioner. A giant fireball erupted from the air conditioning unit, knocking Steele to the ground.

"He got cut on his left hand a little bit from the glass," said Holland. No other injuries were sustained in fighting the fire.

Andalusia Fire Chife Hubert Hughes said the fire would probably be investigated.

Another fire earlier Thursday left a Covington County

family without a home for the time being. Just after 7 a.m., the Loango, Hopewell and River Falls volunteer fire departments were called to Rosin Ridge Road, just off of Ard Creek Road. According to W.B. Stewart, the director of the Covington County Chapter of the Red Cross, the home belonged to Jerry and Susan Varner in Loango and had major damage to the structure.

"They managed to save some familiy photos, but most of their things were destroyed by smoke and water," said Stewart.

He said the couple, who have two sons, 10 and 14, were staying with other family members.

The local Red Cross chapter issued the family of two adults and two children a Client Assistance Card to assist the family financially with buying new clothes and groceries as a result of the fire.

This fire marks the 17th disaster incident the local chapter has responded to since July 1, and is the 16th house fire of the fiscal year.

For more information about the American Red Cross, or to find out how to help the Varner family, please contact the local chapter by calling (334) 428-2680 or emailing