MOUNT STERLING, Ky. (WKYT) - The wind pushed smoke through burned window frames and crumpled metal piled off of Maysville Road in Mount Sterling Friday afternoon.
The badly burned wood and brick used to be recognized as the City King Buffet.
Now the spot is recognized by the property owner, Andy Kumar, as a tragedy.
"It’s really heart-breaking because we spent a lot of money. I bought this property seven years ago and we spent a lot of money on remodeling," he said.
Aman Handa was the first to spot the fire during Thursday night's thunderstorm.
"It took the fire department about 10 minutes to get here, by the time they were here this place was up in big flames. It was unreal, you could see embers flying for hundreds of feet," he said.
Insurance companies say they're running tests to see if lighting sparked the fire that destroyed the restaurant. Fire crews say they’ll start investigating if the results show it wasn't lighting.
Handa says not only is this a tragedy for their family, it's also devastating for the man they leased the building to and his 10 employees.
"I am really shock, I don't know what to do now," said Kumar.
Kumar says he'd like to rebuild but he doesn't know how they'll recover from the destructive fire that wiped out years of his hard work.