A fast-moving, stubborn fire Friday destroyed the iconic Goff's hamburger restaurant – popular with generations of families – along with several other businesses, in University Park.[[390009272,C]]
Heavy smoke and tall flames were seen billowing from the top of the building at about 1 p.m. in the 6300 block of Hillcrest Avenue, near the Southern Methodist University campus.
"It wasn't long into the fire that we realized it was going to require a lot of time and effort to get it extinguished," said University Park Fire Chief Randy Howell.
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Firefighters battled extreme temperatures – the official high was 107 degrees – plus uncertainty that the building could collapse. A series of renovations over the years made the fire spread in ways that made it difficult to fight.
Two firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion.
Nearly 10 hours after the fire started, demolition crews started to knock down walls so they could reach hot spots in the building's walls.
"Now we have a legendary restaurant gone," said witness Jim Tapley.
Marsha and Tammy Coleman, the mother-daughter owners of neighboring La Bichette salon, could only watch and wonder what's left of their business.
"This isn't even our home away from home. This is our home, because we were here every single day," Marsha Coleman said.
That little corner was center of the neighborhood – the heart, and the history – and no amount of water could wash that away.
The cause of the fire remains unknown.
Several businesses are impacted, whether by flames, smoke or water damage.
On Saturday, crews started tearing down the Goff's Hamburgers building. Taylormark and La Bichette will also be torn down. Firefighters expect the entire process to last through Sunday.