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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Decades of memories and nostalgia up in smoke — the fire at Goff’s is out and the damage is done. Today crews will begin clearing off the rubble at the hamburger restaurant that was a Dallas institution.
What’s left of Goff’s Charcoal Hamburgers on Hillcrest Avenue, near the campus of Southern Methodist University, sits secured behind a fence.
Goff’s wasn’t the only location damaged in the fire; neighboring businesses were impacted too. The landlord of the property, Mike Montgomery, said six business owners lost everything in the fire. “What I worry about is the tenants. The good news bad news, we’ve got insurance. All our tenants have insurance,” he said. “It’s traumatic for the business owners here because they lost everything. So I dont’ know what to say. I’ve never been in a situation like this. I’ve never had a fire where it destroys an entire building.”
Some business owners returned to the site today, snapping photos and collecting what few belongings they could from inside.
Power remains out for some shops and a good portion of the area will be blocked off and closed for the next few days as the cleanup continues.
A 3-alarm fire broke out Friday afternoon, taking down the building that dated back to 1924 and the businesses within the walls — including the beloved burger joint that was founded in 1950. Goff’s, a University Park landmark, had been a favorite of families and SMU students for generations.
The blaze was dangerous and especially hard to fight, given the age of the building and architecture of a bygone era. Customers say the memories have come flooding back over the last few days.
Montgomery said they had hoped to salvage the exterior of the building, but firefighters had to punch through the walls to reach hot spots and pump water inside. Crews knocked down most of the walls as a precaution.The walls of a salon, that sat next-door to Goff’s, will come down today.
There are barricades around the site this morning, until debris haulers arrive and start working to clear the site. The cleanup was expected to several days, but the rain could stretch that out longer.
As for as the wet weather is concerned Montgomery said, “It feels better but at the same time it does slow it[debris removal] down. Because I think some of these dumps don’t like you to bring in wet material and the roads may be a little tougher coming in and out of the dump.”
Montgomery said he hopes to open at the location again, but that it’s too early to say if it will be a restaurant or something else.
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