Corky Wolf
Smoke billows from what’s left of Kin Folks Bar-B-Q following a fire on Wednesday.

Kin Folks Bar-B-Q, the venerable barbecue institution located on the square in downtown Mountain View, suffered a major fire Wednesday evening.

The blaze appears to have started as a result of a pit fire. The Stone County Leader reports that diners were inside the restaurant when musicians at Mountain View Music across the street noticed that smoke rising from the restaurant’s barbecue smoker “did not have its usual appearance or aroma.”

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Hilary Valentine
People gathered outside of Mountain View Music on Wednesday when the fire broke out at Kin Folks Bar-B-Q.

After flames were spotted, onlookers warned diners and quickly called 911. Shortly after, three pumper trucks from the Mountain View Volunteer Fire Department arrived at the scene and quickly extinguished the blaze, preventing it from spreading to neighboring structures, according to The Leader.

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The fire occurred only two days prior to the start of the 62nd annual Arkansas Folk Festival. The folk fest is one of the biggest weekends of the year in Mountain View, a town known internationally as the Folk Music Capital of the World. According to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas, the festival draws an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 visitors to Stone County each year.

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David Beaty
The aftermath of Wednesday’s fire.

No injuries have been reported as a result of the fire. The Stone County Leader reports the restaurant was being operated by prospective buyers who planned to purchase the restaurant in the coming months.