Homestyle Barbecue’s future uncertain after firePublished 11:44am Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Homestyle Barbecue, a popular business on the east side of Hartselle, suffered heavy damage from a fire of undetermined origin on Sept. 30.
Buddy and Alice Shull had closed their business for the night only a few minutes before a driver for Sammy’s Towing spotted smoke coming from the building and alerted 911 and the co-owners at approximately the same time.
“We live close by and saw the smoke when we rushed outside,” said Mrs. Shull. “We were shocked at the thought of a business we had built from the ground up and nurtured for 17 years going up in flames.”
Firefighters from Somerville Area Volunteer Emergency Service responded to the fire around 7:20 p.m. and had the flames extinguished shortly after 8 p.m. The pit and storage portion of the building, which was protected by a firewall, survived. The rest of the building was heavily damaged by fire, smoke and water.
A “Wounded Warriors” donation jug, located inside the drive-through window, melted but its contents were saved.
“I had to cut through the plastic to get to the money,” Mrs. Shull said,” but every penny was saved. “I took it to the bank and wrote a check for $300 to the Wounded Warriors project. “We consider that to be a small miracle,” she added, “because it was given by our customers for such a good cause.”
Mrs. Shull said she and her husband have not made a decision about whether or not to rebuild and reopen the business.
“We’re waiting on our insurance company and its adjuster to assess the damage and settle with us,” she said. “Many of our customers have expressed their condolences and encouraged us to reopen. We deeply appreciate their concern and support.”