Beloved Philly cheesesteak restaurant vows to bounce back after devastating fire
Having just celebrating its 46th anniversary earlier this month, the legendary Jim’s South St. Steaks in South Philadelphia is vowing to make a comeback and rebuild after a devastating fire destroyed the iconic business.
According to Action News Channel 6, the blaze was reported around 9:15 a.m. Friday at the popular Philly cheesesteak shop on the 400 block of South Street. A video showed dark, heavy smoke billowing from the building and firefighters using ladders and spraying water on the structure in an effort to extinguish the flames.
The news station reported the fire had reached 2-alarm status as more crews were called in and officials said to it was a difficult battle because the flames were moving through the heating and air conditioning.
According to the news station, the blaze was so large, the fire department said more than 125 personnel responded to the scene, along with nearly 60 vehicles.
At one point, Chopper 6 was over the scene and showed crews using ladders and spraying water to the front, back, and on all sides of the building. Firefighters were even seen breaking windows on the second floor of the building.
“I knew it when I walked in (Friday) morning something wasn’t right because it was too hot,” said Christina Lawlor, who was in the building that day, opening the restaurant.
“I started smelling something. It smelled electrical, you know you can smell that,” she said. “So I’m like, ‘something’s not right.’ We looked up and saw smoke coming down from where the walk-in is and smoke was pouring down.”
The fire marshal’s office said the devastating fire under investigation and the cause is currently unknown.
Fortunately, there were no injuries reported, according to Commissioner Adam Thiel, who spoke about the fire during a news press conference.
Additionally, Thiel said there are no apartments above the restaurant as the space is used for storage.
As the cleanup effort continues, Jim’s Steaks shared a newly created GoFundMe page to help employees who are now without a job.
“Thank you for the outpouring of love in light of the fire that gutted our shop on Friday. We will rebuild. Insurance will cover sticks and bricks. However, it won’t cover the lost income for our amazing crew for the months and months we will be closed. Please consider a donation to supplement all our other efforts to keep them whole during this devastating setback,” said the business.
Read more via 6ABC.