Austin's Texas French Bread bakery and bistro destroyed by fire

Investigators with the Austin Fire Department spent Tuesday morning going through what remained of the Texas French Bread restaurant and bakery. 

It was determined the fire started above the kitchen.

"That's what the employees. That's the information provided by the witnesses that were working, that that's where they first saw the fire and again, what our units arrived on scene. The fire was through the roof," said AFD Division Chief Stephen Truesdale.

Video recorded Monday night showed fire crews on the scene as flames broke through the roof. Several employees were inside but able to escape as the fire swept through the seating area. 

"And we stood there and watched for a while. I'm just thinking about my roommate that worked here and all the stuff and everything and just how it's nice and stable. It's a building that's been here for so long and just meant a lot to a lot of people," said Noelle Wright.

Employees who did come by Tuesday collected a few momentos. 

Texas French Bread recently celebrated it's 40th anniversary. Many of the regular customers took pictures of the scene and expressed their sadness. "It's a disaster, and I wanted to cry, but I'm a strong woman," said Jodie Garcia.

Garcia and her husband own a business near the fire scene. 

She praised the firefighters who worked to contain the blaze. 

Joshua Mosso also came by the bakery to see the damage for himself.

"Yeah, yeah, I actually just brought my parents here recently and was talking about this place and that it's one of my favorite spots in the neighborhood. And we were going to bring my grandmother," said Mosso.

The building dates back to the early 50s. It originally was a grocery store, and then an Italian Restaurant which eventually became an Austin music venue known as the Rome Inn.

"I worked at UT and lived over there, and I'd walk to and from work. And at night I'd stop at the in and get some beer on the way home. And so, yeah, I would see up-and-coming Austin artists that would try to come in there and not try. They'd come in there and play, and it was just a neat place," said Wayne Wedemeyer.

Billy Gibbons with ZZ Top used the name in a song he wrote, according to Chris Layton. Layton is a drummer and told FOX 7 Austin he performed at the inn with other notable music icons. 

"You know, Willie Nelson called us up one night and said, Can I come down there? And me and the boys come down there and jam, but you also they showed up one night. Ray Benson is asleep at the wheel. Jimmy Jimmy Ball would come down and play with us. Stevie Ray Vaughan, double trouble. You know, we go down and see them. And this was kind of like a home to us."

The fire caused roughly $1.1 million in structural damage and $500,000 to equipment and other content. A company has been hired to determine if any of the structure can be saved. 

To donate to the restaurant and bakery's GoFundMe, click here.

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