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South Boston NewsSouth Boston News
South Hill firefighters arrived at Bonesuckerz early Sunday morning to find the restaurant already enveloped in flames. It is unclear whether the popular BBQ eatery will be rebuilt. (Contributed photos) / October 10, 2012
It is unclear whether a South Hill restaurant will rebuild after it burned to the ground early Sunday morning.

The South Hill Volunteer Fire Department received a report at approximately 1:30 a.m. that Bonesuckerz, a barbecue restaurant on West Danville Street, was in flames. The establishment operated out of the former home of S&S Barbecue in South Hill.

According to SHVFD Fire Chief Rosser Wells, the call came in at 1:27 a.m. and he was on the scene at 1:31 a.m. followed by the firefighters at 1:32 a.m. He stated that the flames were already 30 feet high at the back of the building when he arrived. Three firefighters broke in the back door and got about 15 feet in the building.

According to Wells there were several ceilings in the building and the fire travelled through the roof and into the front of the structure.

Firemen pulled out of the building and 10 minutes later the roof collapsed. All they could do was pour water on the flames from the aerial truck, said Wells.

Conditions were “miserable,” according to Wells, as it was raining hard on a cold night and the smoke was close to the ground.

Firemen remained on the scene until 4:02 a.m.

South Hill had 28 firefighters on the scene with 3 engines, 1 ladder truck and 1 air/light truck. The department was assisted by La Crosse and Buckhorn VFDs, each with 12 firefighters and two engine on site.

The Town of South Hill Police Department directed traffic and Southside Rescue provided refreshments for those fighting the blaze. Chief Wells thanked all who helped out during the evening. The building was a total loss and the cause of the fire is under investigation, he said.

Public reaction to the event has been heartfelt. Bonesuckerz General Manager Matthew Dorbeck’s Facebook wall has been filled with condolences from patrons of the local business.

“Matt I just heard the sad news,” wrote one patron, Judi Wright wrote. “We had the best barbecue and slaw today for our reunion. What in the world happened? We are so very sorry. Bobby was just bragging about your barbecue at lunch time today. We had left overs for dinner tonight and had no idea of your horrible loss last night after we were over there. Love ya!”

Dorbeck said he has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the community.

“We appreciate everyone’s prayers, concerns, and kind words,” said Dorbeck. “It all means so much to the Bonesuckerz family.”

Dorbeck said that the decision to move forward belongs to Joel Crowder, the owner of the restaurant, but that he would be open to any decision.

“It’s still up in the air,” said Dorbeck, “There are still a lot of decisions to make right now and this is still so fresh, we will wait to see what happens.”

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