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Smoke damage temporarily curtails lodging at Guest House, but restaurant remains open

NATCHEZ — Midnight Dec. 31, 2020, ushered in a new year and a headache for Sean and Rachel Casey, owners of The Guest House, located at the corner of Franklin and Pearl streets.

A dryer overheated and melted an air conditioning vent overhead, ultimately sending smoke throughout the building.

In an abundance of caution, the Caseys are closing The Guest House to overnight lodging for three weeks in order to appropriately remove any smoke smell and clean the facility.

The lodging portion of the business will reopen on Friday, Jan. 29.

However, Farrah’s, the restaurant at The Guest House, 201 N. Pearl St., remains open for business as usual, Casey said.

“Farrah’s is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant is our only source of revenue right now and it means the world to us,” he said.

Fire damage was limited to the dryer and the AC vent.

“The dryer overheated right at midnight on New Year’s Eve. We had heavy, heavy, heavy smoke damage in the laundry room, but it was sealed by a heavy door. Of course, when the fire department opened the door, the smoke escaped and traveled through the building,” Casey said.

On the positive side, the Caseys quickly began working with a company that specializes in cleaning up after such incidents.

“Most of the linens were stored in the laundry room, and we must replace them,” he said.

The drapes, carpeting and other linens will receive a thorough cleaning.

“We have a company coming at 1:30 p.m. today from Mobile, Alabama, to pick up the drapes,” he said. “We think everything will be cleaned and ready within 10 days to two weeks, but we are planning to be closed for three weeks to make sure we have time to do everything right.

“It’s a headache, and not something we wanted to happen, but no one was hurt and in a month, it will all be behind us,” Casey said.