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Firefighters spent hours trying to control the fire inside Bridget's Foy's along South Street.
The blaze left 2 firefighters hurt and 2 dogs being housed at a neighboring pet store dead.
The popular restaurant has served meals, snacks and drinks since 1978.
A popular South Street restaurant that has served up meals and drinks for nearly four decades went up in flames Wednesday morning leaving two firefighters hurt and two dogs dead.
Flames broke out in the basement kitchen of Bridget Foy’s at 2nd and South streets just after 1 a.m., firefighters said.
More than 100 firefighters spent hours dousing the blaze as heavy smoke poured from the structure and flames shot into the air.
Two firefighters suffered minor injuries battling the blaze. A pair of dogs being housed at Doggie Style, a pet store, next door died. Additional pets were rescued and taken to a veterinarian, according to the Red Paw Relief Team.
The fire was placed under control by 3:50 a.m. but as of 6:30 a.m., firefighters continued to put water on the eatery as some flames continued to be seen. Crews closed South Street between 4th and Front streets and 2nd Street between Lombard and Bainbridge streets as they battled flames.
Smoke continued to rise from the rubble, which was spread onto South Street, as firefighters sprayed water onto the blaze around 11 a.m. Construction equipment was brought in to sort through the debris.
Bridget Foy's opened in 1978 hosting brunches, lunches, dinners and drinks. It was a popular spot for special occasions and parties. The South Street Headhouse District called the three-story eatery a "cornerstone" of the shopping and dining destination.
"Families from around the city, region and country have come through Foy's doors to find a wonderfully warm welcome and exceptional hospitality from this beloved family (and their staff)," South Street Headhouse District executive director Michael Harris said.
Bridget Foy's hosted rehearsal dinners, first dates, fantasy football drafts and bar debates over its many years. Some neighbors even called it the "Cheers" of Philadelphia.
Fire investigators believe the blaze was accidental but they wouldn't know for sure until they could get inside to investigate.