Athens, Ont. family restaurant forced to close due to electrical fire – Kingston | The Canadian News

For JJ’s Country Diner owners Joanne and John Edgley, it’s been just over a week since an electric fire at their Athens family restaurant forced them to close.

“We were both in bed, we lived in the back with our son and our dog,” says Joanne. “And we heard a loud and persistent knock on our door, someone who was obviously really determined to get our attention.”

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That hit was an employee working to get your attention. They had arrived on their morning shift around 6:45 a.m. to discover smoke in the building and fire alarms ringing.

“In the whole restaurant, on the ceiling, all our furniture, all our equipment. Everything has that horrible burning smell, ”says Joanne.

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She says that she and her son were inside the house trying to grab everything they could, from car keys to purses and clothing.

“The whole time I was doing it, I could smell that horrible smoke smell in our rooms,” she says.

But still, they were lucky. The Athens Fire Department informed the couple that having their office door closed saved the situation from being much worse.

“Because (Joanne) had her office door locked, she saved the building,” says John.

Firefighters told the Edgleys to warn everyone to lock their bedroom doors at night, as it could save your life if you ever have a fire.

As they work to begin rebuilding, a GoFundMe has seen many members of the community come together to support the business.

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Still, John and Joanne care about more than just their own well-being.

“Not only do we have to worry about ourselves, we are also concerned about our 11 staff members. Because they will be out of work, ”says Joanne.

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“There are so many places for help that we could end up losing our entire staff,” continues John. “Because they have to take care of themselves.”

JJ’s Country Diner is currently in a teardown phase and the Edgleys say they anticipate many months of work ahead of it before a safe reopening.

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