BELLE ROSE — A truck stop/casino on La. 70 in Assumption Parish that caught fire after a Thursday afternoon lightning strike will reopen for business, a management official said Friday.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office estimated the Gator Stop Super Truck Stop and Casino, 1230 La. 70, Belle Rose, sustained more than $1 million in damage from a roof fire that followed a loud boom apparently caused by the lightning hit.
“It will come back completely. It’s just a matter of what the time will be to get it back completely,” said Peter Graffagnino, controller of two companies that own the truck stop convenience store and the casino.
The companies are Robert Sunshine LLC and Gator Truck Stop, he said.
Graffagnino said about one-third of the building’s roof caved in, primarily over the cafe area. No one was injured in a fire that state fire officials described as “serious” and “very extensive.”
Graffagnino credited the quick response of the Pierre Part and Paincourtville fire departments for minimizing the damage.
“It was a very good effort on their part,” he said.
Graffagnino said the fire was contained primarily in the roof, but the building also received smoke and water damage. He said the truck stop’s electronic video poker machines received minimal damage, however.
He said that neither the station’s gasoline and diesel pumps nor the canopy over them were damaged.
Graffagnino said the truck stop is insured but truck stop officials are waiting on estimates before determining whether to renovate or rebuild the damaged area.
He said the owners expect to have a better idea in about two weeks on how best to proceed with getting the business up and operating again.