Mava’s Kitchen suffers damage from Saturday fire

CARBON HILL —Mava’s Kitchen suffered fire damage on Saturday night and will likely be closed for about a month while repairs are made. No one was injured in the fire, said Mary Virgina Files, the owner of the country kitchen restaurant. Carbon Hill Fire Chief Buddy Smith said in a brief interview Monday that the cause of the fire, which happened about 6 p.m. in the attic area, appeared to be electrical in nature. The business is located in a building that is about 60 years old, Files said Monday. She noted Saturday night she had just completed making a large amount of dressing for the Sunday lunch customers, enough to feed 100 people. “I was standing under the intake for the heating and air conditioning and I smelled wires burning,” she said. “I said, ‘Do you smell that?’ and they said, ‘Yeah.’ And about that time, smoke just came billowing down from the heating system. It filled the restaurant in no time flat.”  Her daughter urged people to vacate the building immediately, and someone called 911. About a dozen customers sharing an evening meal got out, as did six employees. Vehicles were also moved away from the building. “We all got out before it started blazing,” she said. After getting out, she “looked up and saw fire where the vent comes into the front of the building.” Firemen cut through the roof to combat the fire. Water damage was also left in the building in the wake of the fire being put down. Firemen responded quickly, and the fire was put out in about 20 minutes. Files said the fire was caused by faulty wiring in the attic. The building is repairable, but it will take some time. “I think it will probably take a month to get the repairs done and to get back up,” she said. Files also thanked Richard Barnes, the owner of Bill and Sons in Carbon Hill, for allowing the business to store the restaurant’s frozen goods in his freezer until the restaurant can reopen. “I’m so appreciative to him for stepping forward and being part of the community and helping his neighbor,” she said. Billy Stovall, the owner of the building, told Files’ daughter his insurance company wants Stovall to rewire the building before the insurance firm renews his policy. Her business has a $1 million renters insurance policy, which does cover repairs, Files said. “We’re OK as far as that goes,” she said. “Our employees are already filing for unemployment while they are having to sit out like us and not making any money.”