4-Alarm Fire Destroys Wentzville Restaurant

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WENTZVILLE, MO (KTVI) - A long time family owned restaurant in Wentzville is destroyed after an intense early morning fire. Now the search is on for a cause.

Flames could be seen shooting out of the Kwan Yin Chinese restaurant on West Pearce  Boulevard in Wentzville. The blaze broke out around 6:25am.

Wentzville police were the first on the scene. They were responding to a burglar alarm call at the restaurant.But when they got there they saw the flames.

The restaurant`s owner Steve Lim was among the first to arrive as well. "I just saw a little fire in the front area there is what I saw. And then I guess it got bigger," saidLlim.

A lot bigger.  The blaze quickly grew to four alarms.  The flames leaving the business in ruins. Lim has owned the restaurant for 40 years.

"It`s shocking. I mean I`m just numb from it all. Who would have thank anything like that would ever happen you know...it`s my whole life. My daughters grew up here. They were babies here. They ran around in the roll around when they were babies around the restaurant" explained Lim.

About 60 firefighters from at least a dozen different department`s responded to the scene.
Wentzville`s Assistant Fire Chief Robb Watkins says the blaze was very tough to fight.
'The fire was very intense right off the bat. We knew initially when we got here this was a defensive operation,' said Watkins.

Investigators say just because a burglar alarm went off it doesn`t necessarily mean a crime took place.

We`re told heat from the fire could have broken out windows prompting the alarm.
A cause is unknown at this point.

Steve isn`t sure what`s next for him.  His life`s work has been reduced to rubble.
 'I get up and do the same thing every day for 40 years. I don`t know what I`m going to do now,' he explained.

The Wentzville Fire Protection District and Wentzville Police Department are doing a joint investigation.

Lim was the last one to leave on Sunday night and say everything was fine then.
Nobody was hurt.     

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