A Lawton landmark restaurant is closed for an unforeseen amount of time after a Tuesday night fire caused extensive damage.
Lawton firefighters were called around 9:40 p.m. to Leo & Ken’s Restaurant, 103 E. Lee, after flames were seen erupting from the rear of the building. According to owner Michell Rhoades, firefighters were in the vicinity and raced to the scene when they saw smoke and flames.
“Shout out to them for being proactive and trying to save us as much as they could,” he wrote in a statement on Facebook. “Heroes indeed.”
The majority of the damage was contained to the back portion of the building, including the kitchen and storage areas.
On Wednesday morning, Lawton fire investigators were at the scene attempting to nail down what caused the fire. Deputy Fire Marshal Anthony Garibay said firefighters with a great amount of experience were assisting the investigation.
“There’s extensive damage,” he said. “We’re still investigating.”
Rhoades stated that prior to closing the restaurant at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, staff conducted a walk-through to make sure everything had been turned off and situated.
“We’re not sure if it was a fuse, electrical short, chemical interaction, or lightning from the storm,” he stated. “Not sure the extent of the damages and as you all know insurance never covers everything so, we’ll just have to see how much we get and how much it’s going to cost.”
Rhoades said the restaurant, opened by his grandmother in 1967, has a legacy. It lives through those who’ve dined there and who have reached out in this time of need.
“Honestly, we are overwhelmed with the amount of outpouring love and support from the community and our patrons who have offered time, money, effort, and prayers on our behalf,” he stated. “People like you are what makes this world a better place and we value your love and support more than you can know.”