Athens Railway Cafe owner picking up pieces following fire nearby

Just over a week after a fire destroyed Honeycomb Home Company in downtown Athens, surrounding businesses are still cleaning up smoke damage. “I’m here, you kno
Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 12:56 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2022 at 10:33 PM CDT

ATHENS, Texas (KLTV) - An East Texas city’s downtown area is still recovering from a fire.

Just over a week after a fire destroyed Honeycomb Home Company in downtown Athens, surrounding businesses are still cleaning up smoke damage.

“I’m here, you know, God’s in control of this and I’m literally just along for the ride,” says Railway Cafe chef-owner, Justin Boswell.

This morning Boswell met with First Call Restoration at his business. Over a week after a fire broke out two doors down from Honeycomb Home, they are cleaning up from the significant smoke damage.

Early Wednesday morning of last week, Boswell received a call that there had been a fire, and his cafe was full of smoke.

Never experiencing a fire before, he didn’t expect much damage from the smoke.

“Come to find out, like everything in the building was basically a complete loss, from spices to sugar, flour, and dry goods, packaging. I even had a couple of shirts and a jacket in my office that I was like, can those be fixed? Like can they be cleaned? I don’t know, you know, it’s, it’s in a box labeled unsalvageable.”

He says he’s not one to waste things and feels wasteful throwing items away, but says it has to be done.

“It’s smoke, but it is carcinogenic and it is something you don’t want on the food and you don’t want anywhere around something you’re going to be serving to somebody so, we’re just trying to roll with it and do the best we can.”

Athens Fire Marshal Lance West says the fire didn’t cause much structural damage to the building, but the building’s contents are another story.

So, how did the fire get started?

“We’ve kind of found where the fire possibly started from but there’s not really an ignition source to tell us what caused it to start,” says West.

Boswell says they are currently restoring the cafe and hope to be back to cooking in the kitchen within the next few weeks.