A well known restaurant in downtown Mount Vernon is no more. Dean’s Diner on West Second Street is destroyed in an early morning fire. When fire crews arrived around two this morning, they say the building was already fully engulfed.
You can tell it’s windy. The broken siding is hitting the side of what used to be a woman’s home and where she’s worked for the last seven years. As she stares at the broken pieces of her home, she’s thankful she got out just in time.
“I handed my kid to my brother and I ran back in to get my cats, I know that’s silly,” Eden Huddleston said.
Huddleston says her brother smelled smoke and opened her apartment door, which sits just above Dean’s Diner. She says that’s when all the smoke came in. Now, nothing’s left from the diner. For Huddleston, this isn’t the first time she’s survived a fire.
“I was in the process of moving into this apartment when that one went down I lost everything there too,” she said. “Two times is more than enough for anybody.”
Huddleston used to live in a home in the country outside of Mt. Vernon. Four years ago, when she wasn’t home, her house burned. Her apartment above the diner has been her home for just about five years.
“It’s a place you call home, that’s about it,” Huddleston said.
Eden says now there’s only one thing herself, her 5-year-old son and her soon to be daughter can do.
“Just to start over again,” she said.
Those throughout the community say they’ll miss the diner and its delicious food.
“There’s going to be a void there,” longtime Mt. Vernon resident Janeane Vickers said. “There are other pizza places in town but it’s not the same. They’re are other places you can get stromboli, but they’re not the same.
Few items are left salvageable from the fire. There’s a crate of her sons toys and a blanket, which Huddleston says leaves her son with hope.
“Batman will always be our favorite superhero,” she said. “He survived a fire.”
Mt. Vernon fire officials say as of now there is still no cause in the fire. Alles Brothers furniture is next door and suffered water damage.