Owners of popular Indy soul food restaurant say they will rebuild after fire

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The investigation continues into what caused a fire at the well known and well loved Kountry Kitchen Soul Food Place restaurant on the near north side of Indianapolis.

The Indianapolis Fire Department said they do not suspect foul play.

"The building had closed," said co-owner Cynthia Wright Wilson. "It was the end of the night. We were at home. We got a call around midnight that said that the building was on fire. Like I said, thank God the employees were not there."

On Monday, Cynthia and Isaac Wilson, who own the restaurant, watched alongside their son, Perez Wright, as the insurance adjusters surveyed the damage. Their insurance agent said the damage is significant.

"It's still going to take some time. There's still an investigation, engineering things that have to happen, but the process will continue on," said Nick Bozzelli, the Wilsons' insurance agent.

The Wilsons said they will rebuild following this fire.

"In our minds, we're going to come back bigger and stronger," Cynthia said. "We don't want to leave the community. We've been here for over 30 years. We employ people from the community. A lot of the customers have been coming for 30 years. We don't want to go anywhere, we want to rebuild."

Pastor James Jackson of Fervent Prayer Church said this is a staple in this city.

"Anytime you bring in a guest speaker or a guest singing group, they want to go to the Kitchen," Jackson said. "They didn't actually call it the Kountry Kitchen, they call it the Kitchen. It has been an icon. It has been a staple in our community for many, many years."

Jackson knows the owners and some employees at the Kountry Kitchen. He was not surprised to hear they are planning to rebuild.

"Cynthia and Isaac are resilient people," Jackson said. "They've received a lot of support from the community. They've built a lot of quality relationships. I don't think we're going to see anything change with regard to people stepping up to help them to rebuild and be better than they were before."

This restaurant has also been a destination for politicians and celebrities too.

"Not only then-Senator Barack Obama, but Jimmy Fallon, the Colts, the Pacers, all the people and then even the people from the community, everybody's important to us," Cynthia said.

The Wilsons said they are overjoyed and extremely grateful for the outpouring of support from the community.

"It's hard to say how much that we appreciate it because it's so devastating the things that happened like it did," Cynthia said. "We're Christians, and we turn to God. He's going to be our strength."

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