STANTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — An early morning fire Sunday destroyed a popular Mexican restaurant in Powell County.
Firefighters with the Stanton Fire Department responded to Mi Finca around 6:00 am.
At that point, they reported that there was heavy smoke and fire coming from the back of the building.
"I kept thinking it was a dream and I would wake up," Jessica Hernandez, the owner, said. "But it's still just so surreal. It doesn't seem real."
Hernandez said she and her family moved to Stanton nine years ago to open the restaurant.
"This is not only a monetary loss," she said. "It's just heartbreaking for us."
Hernandez said some of her employees helped firefighters carry hoses when they arrived on scene.
She said that her employees, like herself, do not have much family nearby. Over the past several years, they have all grown close.
"We are each others' family," Hernandez said. "We celebrate birthdays together in the restaurant. We do everything."
Hernandez told LEX 18 she was committed to helping her employees find new jobs.
"We'll help them out," she said.
Crews arrived from Montgomery County, Clark County, and Clay City to help battle the flames.
Stanton Assistant Chief Eddie Barnes said crews tried attacking the flames inside the restaurant, but the structure of the building worked against them and they were forced back outside.
They were on scene for several hours as the smoke continued to rise from the ashes.