Employees at Fort Lauderdale Popeyes show appreciation for firefighters who saved building

Business plans to serve firefighters first meals during reopening


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Employees at a fast-food restaurant in Fort Lauderdale wanted to show their appreciation to the firefighters who kept them in business.

Employees said the first responders really saved the day the morning of Oct. 7 after a fire broke out in the kitchen at the Popeyes restaurant at 1355 W. Sunrise Blvd.

Fort Lauderdale fire responded quickly to extinguish the flames.

Manager Carlos Richard said he got a call about the fire and rushed over to the business. 

"The whole street was full with firetrucks. I was like, 'Wow,'" he said. 

The interior of the restaurant was destroyed, but the quick response from firefighters saved the exterior of the building. 

District manager Andrew Mercy said the damage was bad, but it was not a total loss.

The restaurant later put up a sign thanking Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue for saving the building. 

The fire department was very touched by the gesture and officials said it boosts their spirits every day to see it.

"It's an amazing gesture. We know that the community is very thankful for what we do on a daily basis, but to see it on a sign like this just brings it closure to home," Battalion Chief Stephen Gollan said. 

When they reopen again in three to four months, the Popeyes owners want their first meals to be for the firefighters.

"I don't think the firefighters get enough recognition, as such. It was just befitting of us to put something out there to show our appreciation for them," Mercy said. 

If they lost the building, it would have taken over a year to replace it.

The Fort Lauderdale Popeyes is one of the chain's busiest locations in South Florida and has been at that address for more than 30 years.