PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As investigators work to determine the cause of an overnight fire that severely damaged a popular Society Hill restaurant and a pet shop, business owners along South Street are reaching out to their neighbors impacted by the blaze.
Michael Harris, executive director of the South Street Headhouse District, says he spoke with the family of Bridget Foy’s, who watched as firefighters extinguished the blaze that tore through their 40-year-old restaurant.
“It was a very brief conversation,” Harris said. “I can simply say that certainly they’re in shock and assessing the situation.”
Harris says he finds the loss to the Foy family particularly difficult.
“They live in the neighborhood, they’re neighbors of mine, you know, we all live in the neighborhood, our kids are around each other,” he said. So, you know, it really feels personal to a lot of people in the neighborhood.”
Harris also spoke with the owner of Doggie Style, whose business was heavily damaged by the fire.
“His name is Howard Nelson. He’s clearly devastated as well,” Harris said. “He’s upset that they had a rescue dog there and they had another pet there in the store and both of them apparently were lost in the incident.”
Harris says at this point, the future of Bridget Foy’s restaurant is unclear. As for Nelson’s Doggie Style, he says the owner would like to rebuild.
“He’s trying to assess where they stand on things. He did say that they would love to reopen. His hope would be to reopen in the district and in the neighborhood,” Harris said. “We, as the business district, are going to help and support them with whatever decision they make and however we can help.”