When you work hard to build a good business, there's nothing worse than watching it literally go up in flames.
SKYFOX9 was overhead when popular establishment caught fire on Thursday afternoon. The blaze that broke out on Main Street basically destroyed the building despite the efforts of multiple fire departments.
"It was chaotic. It was a lot of memories going up in flames right then and there," said Peter Dobbleaire, a Rockford resident.
The good news is that no one was injured in the fire. The bad news is that restaurants are few and far between in Rockford, and most residents in the area have stopped in to dine or drink over the years. For many, it felt like a second home.
Those who live nearby say the restaurant has been under many different owners in the past. Though there were some troubled times, it had recently found new success.
"He turned this place around right away," said Dobbleaire. "Right from the start, the town was getting behind him. The business was getting booming again."
Dale Wicks, owner of Cowboyz Bar and Grill, had just purchased the restaurant in December.
"It's devastating," he said of the blaze. "We wanted the business to be fore the community here, and it's a loss right now."
Yet, Wicks said he's thankful everyone got out safely.
"That's the first question I asked. 'Is everyone safe?'" he recalled. "They said yes, so that's the most important thing."
The fire took out the restaurant, bar and kitchen area. So far, there is no word on what sparked it, but firefighters said they had a tough time knocking it down because of the way the building was constructed.
Wicks says he hopes to rebuild.