WACO, Texas (FOX 44) — A historic café in McLennan County has been destroyed in a fire.
The Waco Fire Department says crews were dispatched to the 600 block of Dry Creek Road early Friday morning.
Just two days before Christmas Day, Caleb Tittley received a phone call moments before bed, hearing the news that the Homestead Cafe had caught on fire.
“I hopped in my truck and I drove about a half a mile up to the cafe. And as I pulled in, a lot of a lot of first responders were already there. It’s really difficult to put into words. I mean, it was obvious to me, you know, I volunteer with some local fire services and it was obvious to me that this was not going to be something that was going to be salvageable,” shares Homestead Heritage Cafe Manager Tittley.
In addition to a quick and overwhelming response from firefighters and first-responders, roughly 100 volunteers, from community members to people living in the area, showed up to help and support firefighters.
The Homestead Heritage community was established in Waco in 1990. The cafe followed shortly after in 1993, historically built in a traditional log cabin fashion and remembered as one of the earliest buildings at the organization.
And now, visitors like Carmie Warden face a loss greater than the building, memories.
“I’m just really disappointed because, one, you can’t really come here and enjoy, you know, the cafe with your grandma anymore and enjoy some nice cup of tea and some coffee and just enjoy life.”
Moving forward the organization plans to host a traditional barn raising, where the greater community can attend this fundraising event to enjoy food and drinks.
Homestead Heritage will also be hosting a benefit dinner on the 27th and 28th of January with all proceeds going towards the rebuilding of the cafe.
Even though the organization lost a building fundamental to their start, Tittley shares that despite the fire, they plan to come back better than ever before.
“We’re going to rebuild. And I think we’re going to rebuild back better than before and be able to offer the same kind of service to all of our friends that have been really supporting us now for nearly 23 years.”