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Firefighters battled fire at restaurant into next day

Rock Hill firefighters were still extinguishing hot spots early Sunday after a vacant restaurant caught fire off Cherry Road.
Rock Hill firefighters were still extinguishing hot spots early Sunday after a vacant restaurant caught fire off Cherry Road. Contributed photo

Rock Hill firefighters were still extinguishing hot spots early Sunday after a vacant restaurant caught fire off Cherry Road, said Mark Simmons, deputy chief.

The Rock Hill Fire Department received a call close to 6:30 p.m. Saturday about a vacant “commercial structure” fire on North Cherry Road near Riverwalk, Simmons said. Heavy smoke billowed from the former Ponderosa Restaurant amid heavy rain and lightning.

Firefighters had the last of the hot spots extinguished by early Sunday afternoon. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, Simmons said. No one was injured in the fire, he added.

The Herald reported in March 2016 the former Ponderosa and Branding Iron site was being considered for a $70 million mixed-used development that could bring hundreds of residents and jobs to Rock Hill. Riverside on the Catawba River development would include retail, residential and office space on both sides of U.S. 21.

Two sites are proposed for development, a 5-acre site on the east side of Cherry Road, site of the former Ponderosa restaurant, and 25 acres on the west side of Cherry Road, bisected by Riverside Drive.

Amanda Harris: 803-329-4082

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