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Intense heat and flames caused the roof to collapse on The Paradise Grille in Burrton, Kan.
"Volunteer firefighters put their lives on the line to fight this fire," said Nancy Schmidt, owner of the restaurant.
Flames were spotted at 8:30 p.m. Sunday.
"You could see flames shooting out of the top of it," said long-time Burrton resident Helen Stubby, who walked across the street to survey the damage.
The cause is still under investigation. A damage estimate is not known. Schmidt leased the business from a family friend on July 30. She plans to rebuild.
"It's just heartbreaking right now," said Schmidt.
Firefighters spent the night watching for hot spots. Investigators from the Kansas State Fire Marshall's Office and ATF were on the scene.
"At one time 50 firefighters from Burrton, Newton and Halstead responded to the fire," said Burrton Fire Chief John Roberts.