Decades-old restaurant ‘a total loss’ after massive fire in Gainesville

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Around 7:30 a.m., News Chopper 2 was over the scene of El Sombrero Mexican restaurant engulfed in flames. The restaurant is located on Browns Bridge Road.

A decades-old Mexican restaurant was destroyed after a massive fire tore through it early Thursday morning.

Tall flames and dense smoke shot through the roof of the El Sombrero Mexican Grill and Bar in the 2000 block of Browns Bridge Road as Gainesville firefighters battled the blaze for hours.

The road was shut down in both directions near Spring Road.

Gainesville fire Division Chief Keith Smith told Channel 2 Action News that someone passing by called in the fire about 5:30 a.m.

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Crews battled a large fire that started Thursday morning inside a Gainesville Mexican restaurant.

Credit: Gainesville Fire Department

Crews battled a large fire that started Thursday morning inside a Gainesville Mexican restaurant.
Caption
Crews battled a large fire that started Thursday morning inside a Gainesville Mexican restaurant.

Credit: Gainesville Fire Department

Credit: Gainesville Fire Department

“Upon arrival, personnel found heavy smoke and fire coming from the business,” he said.

According to the restaurant's website, El Sombrero has been around for more than 30 years. There are multiple locations in Hall County as well as in Macon and Statesboro. The Browns Bridge Road location has been remodeled so many times, there are three roofs on it, according to Channel 2. That made it difficult for firefighters, who were still on the scene after noon as they worked to put out hot spots.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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