MARBLE HILL, MO (KFVS) - The Marble Hill fire chief called the fire at Jay's Bar-B-Que a "major loss to the community."
Crews were called to the restaurant just before 8 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 21.
When they arrived on the scene, firefighters found the smokers in the 'smoke shed' fully engulfed.
The smokers are housed inside a small shed-like structure that is attached to the building.
Chief Calvin Troxell said the shed along with everything inside it was destroyed.
The kitchen sustained some fire damage and the entire building has heavy smoke damage.
Troxell said the restaurant will remain closed for the foreseeable future as everything inside will have to be thrown out.
Owner Rick Nelson said it could be a while before the restaurant reopens.
"The back of the building with all our smokers back there, our freezers, and our the smoke damage out in the front and we'll probably be down about three months so we'll be back," said Rick Nelson, owner.
Nelson says there was no one in the building when the fire started.
Crews from Woodland, Leopold, Zalma, and the North Bollinger County Fire Department all responded for mutual aid.
Investigators are working to figure out how the fire started.