Patrons and workers in Philly Style Pizza evacuated the store early Sunday after smoke appeared to be coming out of the building’s basement.
The incident started just after 2 a.m. when smoke filled the restaurant, located at 2010 N. Broad St.
There was no damage to the building, and the restaurant will run normally, said Bryan Levash, manager of Philly Style.
“You could seen an ember,” Levash said, pointing to a small crack between the doorway and the stairs leading to the restaurant. “A cigarette must have rolled down there and started it.”
Firefighters sprayed water down the crack, which led to the basement of the building. There was no fire in the basement, Levash said, but there was smoke, which firefighters cleared out with a fan.
Liam Baron, a freshman sports management major, was inside Philly Style when the smoke started coming out of the basement.
“It was really smoky in there,” he said. “There was smoke going all over the place and they told me to get out. They gave me my pizza before I left….The cops came in and were like, ‘You guys gotta get out.”
Levash said the event was “not a huge thing” and added he appreciated the fire department’s quick response. After police and firefighter presence was gone, the restaurant offered free pizza to people passing by.
“They just evacuated everybody tonight, and when I asked [police and firefighters] they were like, ‘It’s two o’clock, you’re going to be open for another half an hour, it’d just be safer to get everybody out,” he said.
Police and fire trucks left the restaurant at 2:30 a.m., opening up the southbound lane of Broad Street.
Julie Christie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ChristieJules.