Papa John's Reopens After Alleged Arson by Domino's Employees

-- Lake City, Fl. -- April 5, 2012 --

A Papa John's in Lake City Florida is reopening. It was set on fire by 2 Domino's employees in October of 2011.

Bryan Sullivan and Sean Davidson were arrested in October of 2011 and charged with arson. According to reports the two men said they were tired of seeing Papa John's trucks driving by their store and thought their business would increase if it were no longer open.

The men are currently awaiting trial.

The franchise was started by longtime Papa John's employees and friends Derrick Goodman, Paul Hakken, and Jacob Wilkes in August, 2011.

Jacob Wilkes described what he thinks the two men charged with arson did back in October of 2011. He said they broke a back window and "they were able to put a gas can in there and from what we know somebody was pouring it in there. And the fumes hit the pilot light on the water heater which created a pretty big explosion which blew this door and both front doors open."

They have spent the last 6 months rebuilding the store and have managed to keep their workers employed during the rebuilding efforts.

_______________________________

LAKE CITY, Fla. - Monday, April 2, 2012 - The Papa John's Pizza franchise that was burned to the ground last year by two employees of a rival Domino's franchise will reopen Thursday, April 5, 2012. The franchise, located in Lake City, Florida, had only been open eight weeks before it was destroyed in October, 2011.

In a true showing of community spirit, representatives from three major chains - Bank of America, Tire Kingdom, and Home Depot - offered extraordinary and unexpected support to help the three owners survive the disaster.

The franchise was started by longtime Papa John's employees and friends Derrick Goodman, Paul Hakken, and Jake Wilkes in August, 2011. According to police reports, the two suspects who were arrested said they were tired of seeing Papa John's trucks driving by their store and thought their business would increase if it were no longer open. Before the fire, the three entrepreneurs increased sales nearly 50 percent above the previous owner's revenues the year before - achieving the highest year increase among all Papa John's national franchises.

The three owners have spent the past five months rebuilding the store themselves from the ground up. The store is located at 2815 W. US Highway 90 in Lake City, Florida.

In another remarkable move, Goodman, Hakken and Wilkes have continued to pay their eight employees, two of whom are single mothers, by working as delivery drivers and performing remodeling work for other Papa John's franchises. Recently, the trio drove more than 30 hours to Arkansas to pick up new kitchen equipment which they installed themselves in their store at a savings of nearly $10,000.

"In spite of all the damage and the impact it's had on us and our business, we have been fortunate to have incredible support from friends, family and community, all of which has enabled us to rebuild our store brick by brick," said Jake Wilkes, co-owner of the Lake City Papa John's franchise. "We are grateful to continue to do what we love, run our business and serve great Papa John's pizza."

Firefighters from the Lake City Fire Department, whom Wilkes credits with saving the building, are expected to attend the ribbon cutting.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by whatthewhat? on Apr 6, 2012 at 01:13 PM
    Like Forrest Gump's mommy said, "Stupid is as stupid does."...and these two are the poster boys for that! They should have a real good time in the big house.
  • by South is still the South Location: Tallahassee on Apr 6, 2012 at 08:52 AM
    It is amuzing how all the race related sacastic remarks are not on here when it involves to white guys doing something stupid...just a thought.
    • reply
      by Tom on Apr 6, 2012 at 05:21 PM in reply to South is still the South
      Ain't it amazing what a third-grade education can do?
  • by Tom Location: TLH on Apr 5, 2012 at 06:00 PM
    I think Domino's should foot the whole bill.
  • by jake Location: quincy on Apr 5, 2012 at 04:52 PM
    two white thugs ,,,you done it now get the time and enjoy bubba when you get in the big house ,,,oh,,I'm white and I do not care,,,,white or black ,,,if you do it ,,get the time for it
  • by tatoo them ad send them to prision Location: swannee county baby on Apr 5, 2012 at 03:09 PM
    thesepunks make pizza's and people eat them?
  • by Jake on Apr 5, 2012 at 03:05 PM
    At last, proof that evolution is but a theory.
  • by Grammar Doctor on Apr 5, 2012 at 02:15 PM
    Mr. Yates and/or copy editor: Wrong: October of 2011 Wrong: August, 2011 Correct: October 2011 Correct: October 1, 2011
  • by Anonymous on Apr 5, 2012 at 02:05 PM
    Morons that from the look of the picture still don't understand there are consenquences for you actions. I would call them thugs but they don't look bright enough even for that.
  • by HMA on Apr 5, 2012 at 01:48 PM
    Loks like the "Great Pizza War" has begun. This is a sign of the times. Hungry Howie, you are next.
  • by pizza hut on Apr 5, 2012 at 01:25 PM
    where was pizza hut to extinguish the fire??????? it is a pizza family affair...they look so silly.ahahaha
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