Truck fire threatens Old Grist Mill | (Please view video)

Fire crews used heavy equipment to tear the roof off the building to get to the interior fire.  The historic building is considered a total loss.

“Built in 1745 … it is a rare relic of Pre-Revolutionary New England designed to grind the grain raised by nearby colonial farmers,” the restaurant’s website says. “When it opened as a restaurant, we may never know.”

Seekonk Fire Department Captain Mike Healy said the driver of the truck was taken to Rhode Island Hospital after the crash, but did not have any information on the extent of his injuries, or what might have caused the truck to crash.

Eyewitness News spoke with the owner of the historic restaurant, Greg Esmay, who stated he hopes to “put the Grist Mill back looking like the Grist Mill, with all the crazy peaks in the ceilings and all the nutty stuff that it looked like.”

Esmay ended up calling every person who had a reservation on Sunday and arranged for them to go to another restaurant.

He did say he was able to save a few pieces from the building, including the Old Grist Mill tavern sign, and a few ducks from the restaurant’s distinctive “duck wall.”

(Look for follow-up to story, thanks)