Rusty Buckle BBQ Company restaurant in New Caney damaged by Thanksgiving Day fire

The owner was delivering smoked turkeys and headed back to pick up a special order for Porter firefighters when he started getting calls about the fire.

NEW CANEY, Texas — Thanksgiving is always a busy day for Rusty Buckle BBQ Company owner Allen Rhoden. He stayed up late the night before smoking dozens of turkeys at his New Caney restaurant and then spent Thursday delivering them.

After dropping off about 60 turkeys, Rhoden said he was headed back to the Rusty Buckle to pick up a special order. He and his employees had whipped up a Thanksgiving feast for the Porter Fire Department.

On the way back, Rhoden’s phone started blowing up. His restaurant was on fire.

At that point, Rhoden was just a few miles from the Rusty Buckle, but he could already see a large plume of smoke. He stopped to snap a picture.

When he got to the barbecue joint, Porter firefighters were trying to put out the flames as propane bottles exploded.

The fire destroyed the smokehouse and prep kitchen and damaged the back of the restaurant. There’s also smoke and water damage but the meal for the firefighters was good to go so they took it with them back to the station.

“I was coming back to get the extra food that we made for the fire department, and they saved me a trip,” Rhoden joked.

The Montgomery County Fire Marshal’s Office believes the fire was caused by the commercial pellet smoker, according to Rhoden.

“Something sparked where it wasn’t supposed to spark and now I don’t have a barbecue place,” Rhoden said.

But on this Thanksgiving, he was thankful that nobody was hurt.

“We still have more to be thankful about than we do to complain about,” he said. “We’re gonna rebuild, we’re gonna clean up and we’re gonna keep doing what we do.”

rusty buckle bbq company restaurant in new caney damaged by thanksgiving day fire
rusty buckle bbq company restaurant in new caney damaged by thanksgiving day fire
Credit: KHOU 11 Rusty Buckle BBQ owner Allen Rhoden was out delivering turkeys on Thanksgiving when his restaurant caught fire. He snapped a photo of the smoke.
rusty buckle bbq company restaurant in new caney damaged by thanksgiving day fire
rusty buckle bbq company restaurant in new caney damaged by thanksgiving day fire
Credit: KHOU 11 After putting out a fire at the Rusty Buckle BBQ restaurant, Porter firefighters enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast prepared by the owner.

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