UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. – An early morning fire in the Delmar Loop destroyed one business and left a firefighter injured.

The University City Fire Department received a call around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday for a fire that had fully engulfed the flagship location for Three Kings Public House.

“They had heavy fire inside Three Kings and in the rear of the building,” University City Fire Department Chief Bill Hinson said. “Some crews went in to evacuate the residents, which were already evacuated. They started checking the walls and found there was fire on the first, second, and third floors of the walls, following the pipe chases and utility chases.”

By all accounts, a prepared team of firefighters, with assistance from St. Louis City and County units, were able to contain the fire and make sure no one else was injured. One firefighter suffered only minor injuries while extinguishing the blaze.

Three Kings management released a statement late Wednesday morning, saying they were, “heartbroken this morning,” but promised they would reopen and “we will be even better.”

It’s believed the fire began in the back kitchen area, according to firefighters.

“The main issue we had was the back of the building was the main part of the fire,” Hinson said. “I don’t know if anybody has seen that back there, but that is just a ton of electrical wires.”

Firefighters said the rear of the building was one of the biggest challenges. They worked with the Loop Trolley to make sure power was turned off in front, on the Delmar side.

Chief Hinson said his crews went room-to-room to ensure no one was in the building.

“The apartments are still standing,” he said. “There’s some damage where we pulled the walls apart to put the fire out in the walls and the ceilings, and some places in the floor. But structurally, that building is still standing, and, like I said, Iron Age is fine.”