Fire guts kitchen of popular, landmark restaurant in Donna

It's long been a staple in Donna and served the community for about 50 years.

But on Tuesday morning, a fire destroyed the kitchen of Monte Carlo Caf leaving the owner needs to pick up the pieces.

"The electric fryer was burning, Delia De La Paz recalled.There were flames everywhere!"

It started off like any other morning for De La Paz.

But the normal 7 a.m. kitchen preps turned into anything but when she said the fryer ignited sparks lighting a table on fire.

"I was scared, De La Paz said. The smoke and the sparks scared me, and I thought everything would ignite.

The experience still haunts her.

It was so emotional and scary, she said. I won't be able to sleep at night from thinking about it.

For owner Sylvia Garza it's also an emotional experience.

"For me, it's not just because it was going to burn down. It's just it's a family thing. It's been here for three generations," said Garza.

Long time customers came by to console Sylvia Garza.

The caf has been serving people since the 60's.

Garza said she is determined to rebuild and continue serving the community.

"A lot of people have come over and offered you know we can help you paint, we can help you this, so now you know who you're real friends are and this is what's really important," she said.

Damage estimates range from $10,000 to $15,000 dollars.

It's money Garza will have to pay since she did not have insurance.

"Always have something for a rainy day, and today's the day," she said.

Donna Fire Chief David Simmons said a firefighter was injured at the scene.

He said when putting out fire in the attic, a nail sticking out of the shingle hit him in the head which caused some bleeding, but he is doing well.