Blaze Tears Through Popular Restaurant & Apartments

By Alison Burdo
|  Friday, Feb 21, 2014  |  Updated 1:59 PM EDT
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Flames tore through a popular building in South Philadelphia, forcing residents out of their homes and closing Hawthorne's restaurant.

Jesse Gary - NBC10.com

Flames tore through a popular building in South Philadelphia, forcing residents out of their homes and closing Hawthorne's restaurant.

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Crews battled a blaze in a South Philadelphia apartment building that holds a popular restaurant Friday morning.

The fire broke out around 6:45 a.m. in a four-story building on the 700 block of South 11th Street where Hawthorne's Cafe is located, according to reports.

All of the building's eight residents were able to escape the burning building to safety.

"We don't know what's going on," said Ashley McGinnis, a resident in the property.

"We are safe, but it's scary," said Kelly Lazor, who also lives in the building.

It took crews nearly two hours to get the flames under control, according to officials.

"It was a little bit challenging that they had multiple roofs from the property being renovated," said Deputy Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer. "There wasn't just one roof. So that's what made it difficult to get to the fire initially."

The fire was on the upper floors and the roof of the building, according to crews on the scene.

The ground-floor restaurant suffered serious water damage and will remain closed for an unknown period of time.

Hawthorne'sCafe  responded to concerns from their customers on social media

The American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania is assisting the displaced residents.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

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