Employees of JJ's restaurant return to the site of horrible blas - KCTV5

Employees of JJ's restaurant return to the site of horrible blast

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It's been more than six weeks since the massive explosion and fire at the Plaza restaurant. The explosion was caused by a natural gas leak.

One worker, Megan Cramer, lost her life and more than a dozen other people were injured.

The JJ's restaurant family got a chance to sift through the rubble for the first time Friday. They spent the day picking out personal pieces, like a wine bottle that was still full, before crews come in and cleaned up the site for good.

JJ's employees searched in disbelief through what's left of the restaurant, but they were able to redeem a few keepsakes of the good old times had in the building.

"For me it's therapy, for some of the other people, it is, too," owner Jimmy Frantze said.

Frantze and his staff are now able to return to the site because investigators and lawyers have finished gathering evidence.

Throughout the day, once in awhile, small mementos were found.

"This was just lying on the floor. It's got a little fire damage. It could be cleaned up," Frantze said as he found a large-sized wine bottle that was on display, sitting near the entrance, before the explosion.

Frantze said his employees are busy healing and able to do so thanks to a brand new insurance policy he happened to renew a month before the explosion.

"We had just re-done the entire policy at the first of the year when it was renewing and we raised some rates. We looked it over and we have tremendous business interruption insurance," he said.

While demolition crews work on the site next week, money raised through public donations will be distributed to employees affected by the explosion.

"We have a board that oversees that and people putting in requests to get some of the funds to help them with all kinds of things because they are financially impaired," Frantze said.

In the meantime, Frantze has less than 30 days to clean up a business he built from the ground up.

As for rebuilding, Frantze said he needs time to make that decision. He wants to wait for the legal process to take its course.

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