GAINESVILLE - An accidental fire at an Irish pub on the Dahlonega square did extensive damage right before St. Patrick's Day, but the owner of the restaurant isn't discouraged.
"This community is fantastic," said Deb Rowe, owner of Shenanigans Irish Pub. "And we know that anything that we need or any help that we need is, it's definitely going to be there."
Rowe said she was overwhelmed by the amount of support the community has showed her and her business, which had been a Dahlonega staple since 2008.
Firefighters were called to the historic building before 6 a.m. after a passerby noticed smoke and fire in the building. Crews were able to contain the fire to the inside of the building.
This afternoon, the fire was ruled as accidental by investigators.
"It appears that the fire started in the office upstairs," Rowe said, noting there were several offices on the upper level. "We believe it started in our office from a faulty heater... the main part of the fire went up the wall and really got out of control when it got to the attic."
Rowe said the basement of the building, where the pub is located, was water damaged.
"It has a sincere amount of water damage, which is kind of ironic," she said. "Before the City of Dahlonega redid their drain infrastructure, we had, over the course of six year, about eight floods down there, but we've never had a flood from above. Everything is soaked to the bone and it's going to have to be gutted. "
Rowe said that they're hoping on doing something for St. Patrick's Day, even if it's just for the staff, despite the fire.
"We look forward to getting it rebuilt and taking care of all the fire, smoke and water damage and getting back to work."
Nine Lumpkin County firefighters, aided by four firefighters from Camp Frank D. Merrill in Dahlonega, a crew from Dawson County Fire Department and a ladder truck from Hall County, worked to contain the early-morning blaze.