Saturday Morning Fire Causes Damage to Downtown Franklin Buildings

fire red pony restaurant
Photo: Twitter @FranklinFire

An early morning fire in downtown Franklin has caused extensive damage to Red Pony Restaurant and some minor damage to Walton’s Antique Jewelry. The Franklin Fire Department was dispatched to the fire just after 4am Saturday morning and is investigating the cause of the fire.

Upon arrival, they observed heavy smoke and flames in the back of the building, according to Franklin Fire Battalion Chief Joe Polenzani. Polenzani said the fire appeared to have originated on the exterior of the building, at the rear of the structure. He also said it appeared to have been burning for some time, and eventually extended into the building. Heat from the fire caused two fire sprinkler heads on the second floor to activate, which triggered the automatic fire alarm and the Franklin Fire Department’s response.

Polenzani said the building was unoccupied at the time of the fire and there were no injuries. Firefighters protected adjacent historic buildings and businesses, including Walton’s Jewelry, Jondie’s clothing boutique, and The Heirloom Shop. Polenzani estimated the damage at $300,000.

Red Pony is located at 408 Main St and Walton’s Antique Jewelry is located at 410 Main St.

Gas and electric service to the 400 block of Main Street (4th Avenue North to Five Points) on the Red Pony side of the street has been shut off while repairs are being made. Crews are on-scene working to isolate the outage to the Red Pony building.

Witnesses in the area at the time reported hearing an explosion, which is now assumed to have involved the gas line.

The gas line being shut off for repairs has resulted in a loss of heat and cooking ability for other businesses on that block, including Tazikis and McCreary’s Pub, among others.

Red Pony reports they suffered extensive damage. While most of it was exterior, the damage will force them to be closed for awhile.

Walton’s reports minor exterior damage and will close their showroom today and the Franklin visitor center will delay opening this morning.