MONROE, La. (KNOE) - 48 years in the making and now soot exposed wires and uncovered wood is all that is left of Ray's PeGe's kitchen.
"I was on my way here and I got a phone call that Ray's PeGe was on fire," says Debra Garrett.
Pulling up to smoke and flames Garrett says that was the last thing she expected to see after working at the restaurant for the last 15 years.
"It was heartbreaking it was devastating and then we don't know how long we are going to be without a job," says Garrett.
Firefighters say they got the call from a passerby. Only one person was there getting ready for the day a head when the fire started in the kitchen on Friday morning.
"Our trucks arrived at 8:47 and started the initial lock down they got the fire contained and the fire stayed in the area of origin," says Dusty Harris, Ouachita Parish fire investigator.
Many workers say this place is like home and Garrett says she feels her own connection to the popular eatery in Ouachita Parish.
"My dad worked for Ray Paris for 34 years and he had a heart attack and died here in 1977 so it's home," says Garrett.
Firefighters say an accidental grease fire is to blame for the damage.
"In the long run it's going to be the upside because it needed remodeling anyway so we're going to come back bigger and stronger than ever," says Garrett.
The owners say they plan on coming back, but the restaurant will be closed until the repairs are finished and for now they don't know how long that will be.
A fire has caused moderate to severe damage to an iconic Monroe restaurant.
The fire was reported at about 8:40 AM Friday at Ray's PeGe on Desiard Street in Monroe.
We are told the fire started in the kitchen and was contained to the restaurant. No surrounding businesses were damaged and no injuries are reported.