Fire Guts Landmark Diner

A popular South Jersey eatery was boarded up this morning after going up in flames overnight.

Firefighters responded to the Golden Dawn Diner on Route 38 near the intersection with Route 73 in Maple Shade, N.J. just after closing around 11:15 p.m. Sunday.

"I pulled up, they had heavy fire already coming through the roof of the rear of the building and a lot of smoke," said Maple Shade Township Fire Department Chief Elwood Severns.

It took more than 60 firefighters about 45 minutes to bring the fire under control.

Authorities say no one was injured in the fire.

The dining room inside had extensive damage and the windows were boarded up by early Monday morning.

Fire marshals from Burlington County and Maple Shade were investigating the cause of the blaze.

The diner has sat along Route 38 in Burlington County for more than 30 years. The eatery didn't open as normal at 6 a.m. for people looking to grab their normal cup of coffee or breakfast.

Co-owning families, the Photious and Romanos, posted a message to Facebook "with heavy hearts:"

"A fire last night at the Golden Dawn has forced us to close our doors. Words cannot express the amount of gratitude we feel toward you & your years of patronage & loyalty. We have shared many good times & memories & we hope to be back soon."

"I kept thinking like, 'what was my last meal at the diner' because we grew up here so it was just a really huge part of our lives," said Popie Photiou, whose parents own the restaurant.

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