NORFOLK, Va. - A community now saddened with a loss of a huge landmark. The Thirsty Camel – up in flames.
Charred walls and caution tape are now some of the first few things you see instead of the well-known camel when driving by this staple also known as ‘the landmark’ of Oceanview.
News 3 spoke with longtime customer and frequent patron Morgan Schepp who says the memories will remain.
“The service was always good. Best food around here. Vacationers come in and stuff like that ‘Hey, where’s a place to eat at?’ I always pointed them here.”
Fire officials say the call came in just after 1:45 a.m. Witnesses who made the call say there was a lot of smoke and flames coming from out of the building.
When crews arrived to the scene – fire officials say they immediately started to attack the fire but were then forced to extinguish it from outside due to the size of it.
A second alarm was called early Thursday morning and fire officials say it took about 13 companies to help put the blaze out.
“You had people that’s been coming here for 20, 30 years. My mom, she grew up in there. Sad to see it like that,” Schepp explained.
Although the fire is out – the damage has been done. Leaving many to wonder about the employees here at the Thirsty Camel who were already enduring the day to day struggles of the coronavirus pandemic.
Schepp gave some encouraging and uplifting words to the employees who are now being forced to face yet another ‘new normal.’
“Stay strong. Everybody’s got to stick together. Times like this, I believe, bring the strength out in people more than anything else.”
Fire officials say no one was inside of the building during the time of the fire and there are no injuries to report.
News 3 did try to speak with the owner but he had no comment at this time.