Panama City - An early morning fire completely destroyed Side Pocket Tavern in Parker Tuesday.
Parker and Bay County Fire Rescue Crews responded to the blaze that fire broke out a little after 1:00 a.m., shortly after closing time for the tavern. It took several hours for crews to get the fire under control, and even at 8:30 Tuesday morning, hot spots were still flaring up.
The structure appears to be completely destroyed, and the bar’s manager, James May, says the timing could not have been worse.
"I'm devastated. We were looking forward to a great Thanksgiving. We had a meal coming in, turkey and dressing and all the fixings, and a great Christmas season… this has just turned us up side down. It's hard to believe."
Several nearby mobile homes were in danger, and three were evacuated by fire rescue crews, but the quick work of the fire departments managed to save the neighboring structures. Residents are complaining of the smell of heavy smoke, but no damage.
The owner of the bar is reported to be out of the country at the time of the fire. He’s being notified via e-mail. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.