PHILADELPHIA - A fire ripped through a South Street Staple on Friday, leaving its community shocked and unsure if the iconic shop would ever open its doors again.
Fire crews responded to a multi-alarm fire at Jim’s Steaks on South Street around 9:30 a.m.
Smoke poured from the building throughout the morning as firefighters worked both inside and outside the building. It was declared under control around 1:30 p.m.
An assistant manager told FOX 29 that she noticed it was extremely warm inside, and exited with other workers after she started smelling smoke. No one was injured during the fire.
Kenneth Silver, the president of Jim's Steaks, along with the Philadelphia community, are devastated that the shop has been shut down for the time being.
Several people left disappointed Saturday after coming to Jim's for one of their iconic cheesesteaks, and leaving empty-handed.
"Even our Uber driver said this is the greatest place ever," said Randall Rolland, who was visiting from California.
Maxx Stoyanoff-Williams, assistant manager at neighbor shop MilkBoy, says the timing of the fire is even more crippling, since business were just starting to bounce back after the South Street shooting that left 3 killed, 11 others shot last month.
"The biggest draw and the oldest strongest business on this street just got burnt down," Williams said.
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However, there's still hope the iconic shop will be restored to its former glory. Inspectors reportedly said the integrity of the building is solid, and Jim's Steaks will be able to rebuild.
"We will be back," Silver said. "We are definitely rebuilding, and doing it as quickly as possible."
In the meantime, Jim's is working with areas businesses to make sure the more than 30 employees are taken care of.
They are even looking at the opportunity to serve cheese steaks using area kitchens while they rebuild.