Franklin restaurant destroyed in 3-alarm fire, explosion

Source: FOX45, Dayton
Source: FOX45, Dayton
Source: Google Maps
Source: Google Maps

FRANKLIN, OH (FOX19) - Crews battled a 3-alarm fire at a restaurant in downtown Franklin on Monday morning.

Flames broke out around 7:30 a.m. at the PH Bistro on South Main Street.

Franklin Fire Chief Jonathan Westendorf said when crews arrived, they found heavy black smoke coming from all areas of building. When crews entered, there was a backdraft explosion, which caused the front windows to explode outward.

Fortunately, none of the firefighters were injured.

The owner of the restaurant, Tim Smith, was the only person in the building at the time of the fire. He lives in an apartment on top of the restaurant.

Smith was awakened by the owner of a neighboring business, Missie Jeffrey, who noticed the fire and started yelling his name. Smith was able to get out unhurt.

"This is everything I have and it's all gone," said Smith.

Smith said the building dates back to the 1892 and was remodeled in the 1950's.

At least one other neighboring building suffered smoke and water damage.

The fire was reported out at around 10 a.m., but crews remain on scene battling hot spots.

So far, there is no word on a cause. Smith said he believes the fire started on the bar side of the bistro, but he has no idea what could have started it.

The building is a complete loss.

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