Mason restaurant owners work to rebuild following fire


MASON, Mich. (WLNS) – A community is rallying behind a mid-Michigan restaurant after a fire last week caused significant damage to the building, forcing it to temporarily close.

One of the owners says this diner is much more than just a place to eat.

“Your worst nightmare. It’s kind of like losing a child that we’ve nurtured,” said Rodney Hunt, one of the co-owners of the Mason Depot Diner.

Hunt has owned the Mason Depot Diner with his wife Kathy for nearly 28 years.

“We took a failing business that was going back to the original owner and we just kept plugging away day after day,” said Hunt.

That dream is now put on hold by a fire earlier this month, causing major damage throughout the building, including their home upstairs.

“It’s going to be sad to see some of the stuff my daughter drew on there when she was a little kid,” said Hunt.

But, they’re not going through this hard time alone.

“Byron Russell brought a travel trailer over on Tuesday. He used it once, it’s brand new. Scott across the street has given me keys to his place to use, need to wash up, bathroom, whatever,” said Hunt.

With everyone’s help, Hunt is ready for the uphill battle in front of him.

“I’ve been so fortunate for the community, family and friends, my sister did all of our laundry to help save some money, just it’s been an outpouring of help,” said Hunt.

The fire started in the basement of the restaurant near the hot water heater and the owners believe it will take several months before they can re-open.

If you’d like to donate and help out the Mason Depot Diner, click here.

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