The White Horse Inn, a popular restaurant and Three Rivers landmark, was damaged by a fire that ignited shortly after 1 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 20. Nobody was reported to have been in the structure at the time that the blaze broke out.
Gary and Jeanne White, who own and operate the restaurant-turned-catering facility, told investigators that they had been preparing for an event earlier in the day before the fire occurred.
The fire is believed to have ignited in the rear of the structure where the kitchen is located. Flames accelerated in a crawl space above the kitchen and did extensive damage to the ceiling and roof in that area.
A fire prevention investigator estimated that approximately 40 percent of the structure was damaged as a result of the fire.
Gary White has owned the White Horse Inn for more than 40 years, first operating it as a restaurant and bar. In recent years, the restaurant was closed and Gary and Jeanne have used the facility to cater weddings and other special events.
Before the property became the White Horse Inn it was owned by Willie Clay and operated as the Moro Rock Tavern. The original building has been remodeled and upgraded extensively.
A team of investigators from seven different agencies is conducting the investigation to determine the cause of the fire and a damage estimate.