In this episode of Talking Points on Polk.Today , Pizza Farm owner Tommy Sanders updates us on what’s happening with the restaurant, who spoke to the Polk County Water Authority board on Monday about the lack of water pressure to fire hydrants in front of his restaurant, which ended with the landmark’s destruction

It has been more than two months now since Pizza Farm caught fire and was destroyed. The 49-year-old restaurant had been a landmark just up from Rockmart High School, and owner Tommy Sanders was excited to celebrate a 50th year.

Now he’s rebuilding everything and moving to Marquette Road, not far from his home, and almost directly across from the high school. One of his big reasons? Water pressure.

On the night of the fire, Sanders learned that Polk County Public Safety Director Randy Lacey put in a request to divert water in a pump and increase the flow rate up to hydrants on Knox Mountain Road, directly across from where the remains of the restaurant stand today. 911 placed a call to the Water Authority on his behalf, and amid confusion of radio traffic had him clarify his request.

Instead of sending someone out to make the change to the pumps and potentially save the restaurant from destruction, the Water Authority refused to send anyone out. It was with apologies, but the representative on the phone told 911 they were not allowed to come out to the scene and change the pumps.

As a result, hours were spent pumping water into tanker trucks and shuttling it from the High School and Days Chevrolet hydrants up the mountain and to the scene.

Pizza Farm ultimately was a total loss, and now Sanders is rebuilding. He said he didn’t learn about what happened until at least days later.

“We just sat there and watched it burn up,” Sanders said. “All the fireman were there, they came to do their work and they risked their lives and they ran out of water.”

He went before the Water Authority board to ask them to ensure that every hydrant was working at the pressure it should be to help put out fires during a presentation he made his past Monday during their March session.

“One of the major problems was the fire hydrants didn’t have pressure,” he said. “We couldn’t get any water. Water had to be hauled from Rockmart High and Middle School and Day’s Chevrolet all night long to fight the fire. The fire got so far ahead of them they couldn’t catch up to it.”

For now, the Pizza Farm is making a major move. Sanders is moving the restaurant to Marquette Road within the Rockmart city limits. He’ll be using a pole-barn style building, but plans to decorate the inside like any other restaurant. His hopes are for a summertime re-opening, but that is based on weather and the amount of time permits will take to file.

“It’ll look like a pole barn, and it’ll be a pole barn,” he said. “Everything will look like a restaurant on the inside.”

The new location can also be seen from his kitchen window, and is strategically located just off the corner of Marquette Road.

Sanders was also thankful for the community’s help during the past months as well. He said that Cedarstream contributed upward of $20,000 to Pizza Farm to help employees who found themselves out of work because of the fire. They made Pizza Farm t-shirts and hooded sweatshirts for sale.

Additionally, Sanders was also thankful to the community for individual donations to a Century Bank account setup to help employees and the business as well.

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  1. So glad Tommy is building it back! Such a great place with wonderful memories, sweet people just like family and awesome food! I can’t wait to see them back in business again! Rated 5 stars

  2. My family loves the Pizza farm and we will be visiting when they reopen. I would like to support the rebuilding efforts and staff. Can you purchase the t-shirts or hoodies?

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