Fire at Famous South Street Pizza Joint

One firefighter hurt after blaze breaks out at late-night landmark Lorenzo's on South Street

Flames broke out at Lorenzo and Sons Pizza on South Street (near 3rd) Wednesday morning.

The fire broke out around 10:25 a.m. at the pizza shop known for its mega slices, late-night hours and no nonsense ordering.

One firefighter was taken to Hahnemann Hospital in stable condition with a left knee injury, firefighters said.

There were three workers and the owner's dog inside at the time of the blaze. No other injuries were reported.

Firefighters say it didn’t take long for dozens of fire personnel to bring the fire under control but the damage was already done to Lorenzo's.

The famous storefront mural had to be cut to allow ventilation. An NBC10 photographer on the scene reported parts of the billboard were obviously cut out including a square portion right over Lorenzo's founder's face.

There was extensive interior damage on all three floors including the ground floor where the restaurant is located, according Deputy Chief Joseph McGraw.

Owner Giuseppe Pulizzi says the family-owned business has been at its South Street location for almost 25 years. He described to NBC10 trying to get everyone, including his dog from a second floor office, out of the building as the fire grew.

"I ran in... I opened the door, grabbed the dog and by the time I opened the door it was instant, the smoke came flying into the office. Just grabbed a shirt, covered my face and just ran out," Pulizzi said. "By the time I got to the first floor it was complete, black darkness and I just ran out, made sure my workers were OK.

"Everyone's fine and that's what really matters."

Pulizzi says the ovens were off and it appears that the fire possibly began in the back of the building -- possibly from an exhaust fan -- but he isn't sure. An exact cause of the blaze is pending investigation from the fire marshal's office.

The pizza shop will be shut down for an unknown period of time. It normally operates from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. -- 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

"It's really a sad day for us," Pulizzi said facing away from the destroyed mural of his father.

Pulizzi says Lorenzo's will be back.

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