The Tomball community has raised over $13,000 for local restaurant Mel’s Country Cafe through GoFundMe after it experienced a fire April 16, which damaged 90% of the restaurant’s interior, Melody Henry said in an interview.

“The bones of the building [are] good,” Henry said. “The interior is gone.”

Henry said she is the original owner and retired a few years ago. Her husband, Jeff, who also serves as the chef, her brother and a family friend own the restaurant.

“It’s been a hard emotional time for my family,” Henry said. “We are family-owned and operated, and it hit us all hard.”

Henry called the community support “a beautiful feeling.”

“For 29 years, we’ve tried to help the community every way we could,” Henry said. “It’s just wonderful to see that people are appreciative and putting it back.”

All the money raised through the GoFundMe—started by Henry’s daughter Mary Blackerby—will go to support the 45 employees who are now unemployed due to the fire.

“All the money is going to the employees,” Henry said. “The cafe is not receiving any funds from it.”

Henry said the restaurant is working with insurance, and a fire marshal is coming out on Tuesday to go through the damage.

“My understanding from the fire marshal of Tomball [is] it was a short in the air conditioning system that caused the fire,” Henry said. “That’s my understanding at this moment.”

Henry also said this is the restaurant’s first fire.

“We’ve never been through this before out of 29 years of business,” Henry said. “We’ve never shut down, so this is a brand new experience for all of us.”

While it's shut down, Mel's Country Cafe is working to finish out catering orders that were previously booked by using other restaurants’ kitchens, Henry said.

“We could not be more humbled by the response of the community,” Henry said. “Our competitors, restaurants, friends—they’ve all volunteered to do anything they can.”

Henry said Mel’s Country Cafe will rebuild and reopen.

“I can’t see us anywhere else,” Henry said. “We’ve spent 30 years serving the community, and we plan on continuing.”