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Historic Red Pony in Franklin sustains $300,000 in damage after massive fire

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    FRANKLIN, Tennessee (WSMV) — A fire caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages in historic downtown Franklin on Saturday morning.

Franklin Fire Department officials told NEWS4 the fire started just before 4 am outside in the back of the Red Pony restaurant on Main Street.

Officials said the fire did spread more to the inside of the building. The fire’s heat caused two fire sprinkler heads on the second floor to activate, which triggered the automatic fire alarm and the Franklin Fire Department’s response.

Franklin Fire estimated the damage at $300 thousand.

In a statement to NEWS4, a spokesperson for the restaurant said:

“At around 4 am, there was a fire & explosion in an exterior storage area out back of our restaurant. Our private room and walk-in coolers suffered extensive damage. While it will still require further assessment, we believe much of the interior and original, historic, portion to be in much better shape.

The most important thing here is that no one was hurt. We are hugely grateful for that fact and the phenomenal work done by the Franklin Fire Department. They worked tirelessly to secure our restaurant and the block. We are also humbled by the outpouring from our neighbors and community.

We will absolutely be back. While we cannot predict timelines quite yet, we will do all we can to get things back in full swing ASAP.

For the many asking how to support us in this time, we ask you to support our sister restaurants (Cork & Cow and 55 South) and purchase gift cards at”

“It’s all repairable, but these buildings were built in about 1899, so you have to be careful because it could be a tinderbox,” said Michael Walton, owner of Walton’s Jewelry next door to Red Pony.

Walton said he’s glad the fire did not spread more, however, he still has to close his business for minor damage. The Heirloom Shop on the other side of Red Pony also closed on Saturday and were protected by Franklin Fire.

“The businesses on each side had a little damage. We lost our deck and few little things that are fixable,” Walton said.

Walton said his jewelry shop should reopen later this week.

“There’s no place like downtown Franklin,” he said. “But I’m sure they’ll be back in business before you know it.”

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