By Adam Ganucheau/Daily Journal
An overnight fire at the former Malone’s Fish and Steak House on the Lee-Pontotoc county line destroyed the building and left one firefighter injured.
An E-911 call was received at 2:44 a.m. today, and the Palmetto Volunteer Fire Department was the first on the scene. Lee County authorities say five or six departments were eventually called in to fight the blaze.
The injured firefighter was Wally Bruce, assistant chief of the Palmetto Volunteer Fire Department. He was transported to North Mississippi Medical Center and later to a burn center in Jackson, according to Lee County 911 Coordinator Paul Harkins.
According to Palmetto Fire Chief Bobby Briley, Bruce was scheduled for skin graft surgery this evening. “If all goes well, he might get to come home Saturday, but we’ll see how it goes,” Briley said.
The cause of the fire is unknown, but Lee County investigators will determine that sometime this weekend. The restaurant closed nearly four years ago, and this is at least the second fire at the building since then, according to Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson.
“The building needs to cool down before we can get back out there and find a cause,” said Johnson. “If there was a criminal act like arson, we will pursue further action. Right now, it’s just too soon to say.”
The fire was under control by 5 a.m.