ST. LOUIS- Fire destroyed a popular South St. Louis deli early Thursday morning (July 5). The owners of Macklind Avenue Deli say they plan to rebuild and reopen.
The fire started around 1 a.m. at the deli located at Macklind and Nottingham avenues in the South Hampton neighborhood.
St. Louis City Fire Department Captain Garon Mosby said the first crew on the scene reported heavy fire in the building. Firefighters worked aggressively to fight the fire, but the fire grew quickly.
Firefighters moved to a defensive approach using an aerial attack to fight the fire with lots of water.
“On the initial attack, being inside, not knowing what the contents of the building are, a fire that grows that rapidly you always run into challenges," said Mosby. "You have a very intense fire. It was a good call by the incident commander transitioning to a defensive attack.
One firefighter was injured by falling debris in the deli and was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Another firefighter suffered heat exhaustion and was treated at the scene. No employees or customers were inside the building when the fire started.
The owners and employees of the deli gave firefighters credit for their hard work. Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the deli saving several nearby homes and businesses from being damaged.
Fire officials said the cause of the fire is still under investigation. One of the owners of the deli, Gerald Dunne, said fire officials suggested the fire may have been caused by fireworks landing on the roof.
“I don't think anybody intends for there to be any accidents, but I think every year people are hurt very badly by fireworks accidents, and at least I’m grateful nobody was injured here,” said Dunne.
Dunne said there are approximately four full-time employees and seven part-time employees who will be impacted by the closure.