The owner of a popular Philadelphia cheesesteak shop says he will rebuild after the iconic eatery burned for hours during a fire this week.
Jim’s Steaks owner Kenneth Silver told NBC10 Saturday that the city’s licensing and inspections department does not believe the building on South Street is a total loss and that its structural integrity will be able to be maintained.
Jim's Steaks first opened in 1939 in West Philadelphia, but the South Street location opened in 1976. The building on South Street was originally constructed around 1900, according to city property records.
“We are definitely going to be back for year 48, so just give us a break. Visit the other great establishments in Philadelphia. There are so many of us. We’re one big family and we’re one big cheesesteak community,” Silver said standing outside the boarded-up restaurant.
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The eatery on the corner of 4th and South streets caught fire Friday morning, but it was several hours before it was placed under control as the flames weaved through the heating and cooling system.
Firefighters responded after someone reported that some wires had caught fire around 9:15 a.m., Philadelphia Fire Department Commissioner Adam Thiel said. Smoke could be seen billowing from every floor of the four-story building as firefighters knocked down windows.
The floors on top of the cheesesteak shop were empty and are used for storage, Thiel noted. A manager at the restaurant told NBC10 that everyone was able to make it out OK after seeing smoke coming from the air conditioning system.
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Firefighters had to proceed with caution because of the risk that the building was structurally unstable, Philadelphia Fire Department Commissioner Adam Thiel said, referencing an incident in which a firefighter died last month after a building collapsed following another blaze.