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Mayberry drive-in to open Saturday despite diner fire

Mayberry drive-in to open Saturday despite diner fire (Image 1) (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

MONETA (WSLS 10) - The owner of the Mayberry Drive-In and Diner plans to keep his movie screen up and running despite a fire at the diner Thursday.

Owner Bob Craig spent much of Friday getting the proper permits to get the screen set up separately from the diner. His plan is to have it back open Saturday evening, with vendors serving hot dogs and hamburgers on site. As for the diner, Craig said he hopes it to reopen it eventually.

According to the Bedford County Fire Marshal, the fire did $300,000 in damage.

"It was very heartbreaking," Craig said about the scene 24-hours later. "All of the time we put into (the diner) over the years. It's very disappointing."

Fire Marshal Jeff Pauley believes embers from a cigarette started the fire near a shed behind the diner after being picked up by a strong wind.

"They had a plastic container with no lid on it, no water in it as far as we could tell," Pauley said. "The wind was gusting (Thursday) to about 30 miles per hour."

Pauley said this is Bedford County's second structure fire in 2015 due to smoking material not being properly disposed of. The county usually has about one per year.