PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Flames broke out inside the Melrose Diner at 15th and Snyder around dinner time Wednesday, forcing the popular 24-hour spot to close. Eyewitness News spoke to the owner of the landmark restaurant.
The diner caught fire around 6 p.m. Fortunately, no one was injured but a rebuild is just beginning.
A step inside Melrose Diner is like stepping in your front door. In fact, Eyewitness News was inside the 24/7 diner earlier Wednesday, following along as people watched Robert Mueller’s testimony.
Just hours later, a devastating fire broke out.
“There was quite a few people inside. You know, it’s right at dinner time, 6 o’clock. We are going to try to fix this as soon as possible,” Melrose Diner owner Michael Petrogiannis said.
Customers and workers were evacuated.
“I looked under the vent and there was like a plastic thing on fire, so we started pouring water on it but then it kept smoking, like building, so then me and all the cooks started getting buckets of water and pouring it all over the wall, like anywhere we can put it,” waitress Paige Clarke said.
No one was injured in the blaze, which was believed to be an electrical fire.
For the past 15 years, Marie Brumbaugh has come in every morning at 9 a.m. with her 91-year-old husband.
“My daughter called me and said, ‘You’re not at Melrose, are you?’ I said no. She thought I was having dinner here,” Brumbaugh said.
The diner dates back to the 1950s and has only closed on Christmas.
The owner says he hopes to have the diner up and running again in just one week.
CBS3’s Dan Koob reports.