Wayne County pizza restaurant destroyed by fire

Wayne County pizza restaurant destroyed by fire
Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 4:03 PM EDT
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LAVALETTE, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A fire has destroyed a restaurant in Wayne County.

Wayne County dispatchers say the fire started a little before 8 Sunday night at West Virginia Pizza Company.

That’s along state Route 152 in Lavalette, just south of Huntington.

There were no injuries in the fire and we still don’t know the cause.

As crews worked on the flames, all neighbors could do was watch.

“We sit on the porch all the time,” said neighbor Connie Tweel. “I said, ‘Roger, there’s smoke!’ Then it started getting really bad. It started going all around the building. The whole roof caught on fire.”

Tweel lives just behind the restaurant and says she felt helpless as the fire roared inches away from her yard.

“I can’t even explain it I was so upset and scared,” she said. “I shook all night. We stayed up just to see if it comes back on fire. I was so upset. I called 911 over and over in Lavalette, it was just crazy.”

One minute, Tweel says she was seeing customers coming around the drive-thru.

“In fact, I saw the last one come through, and didn’t think anything of it,” Tweel said. “When I walked in for a second and came back out, it was just engulfed.”

Tweel says she’s heartbroken for the owners. They had owned it for eight years and the shelves were lined with antiques and family mementos, now gone with the flames.

“That was a good place,” Tweel said. “She was a good owner. Good food.”

Tweel is grateful no one was injured and that the flames didn’t spread any further.

We also heard from the owner, Tami Gilgore, who says she’s still in disbelief this happened.

She’s still working on the restaurant’s next steps, but wants customers to know she has appreciated their business during the past eight years.