South Anchorage restaurant destroyed by fire

A South Anchorage barbecue restaurant gutted by a fire early Sunday will be a "total loss," the building's owner said.

No injuries have been reported.

The fire at the Dimond Bar-B-Que Pit restaurant at 1160 Dimond Boulevard, just east of Minnesota Drive, appears to have started overnight, said property owner Larry Garner.

Garner owns the building but not the restaurant that has occupied it for at least 20 years.

At 3:15 a.m. Sunday, a caller told a 911 operator that fire and smoke were coming from the building, the Anchorage Fire Department said in a dispatch. Firefighters arrived at the scene six minutes later and found "heavy fire coming from openings at the rear of the building."

The fire had progressed so much that going inside wasn't safe, said Garner, who is a retired firefighter himself.

He said he thought that because the squat cinderblock structure lacks windows, the fire likely had time to burn before it became obvious outside.


By then, the wood roof "pancaked," he said. "It had time to get really hot in there."

The fire was under control by 6:23 a.m., the AFD said. In all, 21 firefighting units were involved in the effort.

As of noon Sunday, Anchorage Fire Department investigator Brian Dean said he hadn't been able to enter the building yet.

The building was built in the early 1970s and has housed various restaurants over the years, Garner said. The barbecue restaurant has been in the spot for at least two decades, but with new owners about five years ago, he said.

Michelle Theriault Boots

Michelle Theriault Boots is a longtime reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. She focuses on in-depth stories about the intersection of public policy and Alaskans' lives. Before joining the ADN in 2012, she worked at daily newspapers up and down the West Coast and earned a master's degree from the University of Oregon.