Memphis firefighters battled a one-alarm business fire in Midtown Memphis on Union Avenue near Belvedere Boulevard. Flames destroyed Sean’s Cafe and Happy Day Laundry & Cleaners, a business that has been serving Memphians for nearly 70 years.
Firefighters responded to the call around 1:22 a.m. Tuesday. When they arrived they saw intense flames shooting from the building. The fire was brought under control about 3:07 a.m.
55 emergency responders rushed to the scene and brought along a lot of equipment including ladder trucks where firefighters could attack the flames from above.
As a safety precaution fire crews did not go inside the building because of heavy fire on the roof and the threat that portions of the building could collapse. The business fire was contained to the east side of the building.
Lt. Wayne Cooke, spokesperson for the Memphis Fire Department addressed questions including the sound of explosions coming from inside of the burning building.
“We have seen large visible flames from the exterior. A large number of combustible materials on the inside of this structure,” he said.
Fire investigators said this is the second time they’ve responded to a fire at Sean’s Cafe. The first call came in late June.
Total damage to the laundry is estimated at $145,000. Total damage to Sean’s Cafe is estimated at $55,000.
Fire officials say the fire started in the rear of the laundry, They say it’s too early to determine the cause of the fire.